Twenty Israelis who have joined Isis in Syria and Iraq will be stripped of their citizenship, the country's interior minister said on Wednesday (23 August).
A new amendment to Israel's nationality act allows the government to strip citizens engaged in hostile activity either abroad or at home of their citizenship, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said during a radio interview.
Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, has provided the interior ministry with a list of Israelis who have allegedly joined the terrorist group abroad and "remain active."
"I asked that the citizenship of 20 such Israelis be revoked," Deri told Galatz, the Israeli army's radio network.
He said that the amendment would prevent Isis fighters from travelling back to Israel and carrying out attacks there. The new law would also act as a deterrent to young Israelis who were considering joining Isis, Deri said.
Without the bill, Israeli Isis supporters would eventually return to the Jewish state and "carry out another car ramming attack," Deri predicted.
Israeli broadcaster Channel Two reported that most of the people on the list are Arab Israelis. One of the citizens on the list reportedly served as a combat soldier in the Israeli army.
But two of the Isis recruits on the list are reportedly Jews who have converted to Islam, according to the Times of Israel.
Both the Israeli Jews were originally born in the Soviet Union before they immigrated to Israel with their families. They converted to Islam as adults and travelled to Syria to join Isis fighters, the newspaper reported.
Israeli security forces estimate that as many as 50 Arab-Israeli citizens have travelled to Syria to fight alongside Isis militants.
In January, four people were killed in east Jerusalem when a Palestinian terrorist ploughed a truck into Israeli soldiers disembarking from a bus. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Isis for the attack and called the perpetrator an "Isis supporter." Later reports stated that the attacker was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Isis claimed its first attack in Jerusalem in June after three gunmen opened fire inside a religious site known as Temple Mount to Jews and the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims. But a spokesperson for Hamas said that one of the gunmen was affiliated with the Palestinian extremist organisation.
By the end of 2016, 83 people suspected of having ties with the terrorist group, were behind bars in Israel. Some were arrested after returning home from Syria, others for having contact with Isis militants and revealing an intention to join them abroad, according to newspaper Haaretz.