Egyptian court lifts ban on granting citizenship to Palestinians

Ahram Online , Sunday 21 Dec 2014

An administrative court has overturned an interior ministry decision to halt giving nationality to Palestinians born to Egyptian monthers

A Cairo court has overturned a decision by Egypt's interior ministry to suspend the granting of Egyptian citizenship to Palestinians born to Egyptian mothers, a judicial source said.

The administrative court on Sunday said the country's constitution enshrines the right to Egyptian nationality to sons of Egyptian mothers, binding the ministry – which is in charge of citizenship affairs – to do so in the case of Palestinians, the source added.

Until recently, Egypt, like most Arab countries, had refused to grant Palestinians Egyptian nationality pursuant to an Arab League resolution dating back to 1959 which aimed to "preserve the Palestinian identity."

Following the 2011 revolution, demands by Egyptian mothers married to Palestinians that their children be entitled to the nationality prompted Egypt to successfully plead the case with the Arab League.

Following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013 however, the interior ministry announced that it was suspending the granting of citizenship to Palestinians born to Egyptian mothers.

Amid a harsh crackdown on Islamists that followed Morsi’s removal, Egypt declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and banned all activities of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules the neighbouring Gaza Strip.

In November, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said those who are proven to have joined a terrorist group, worked for a government hostile to Egypt, or for a foreign army, would be refused citizenship.

An interior minister aide for immigration and citizenship affairs, Hassan El-Reidy, told Al-Ahram daily in May that 24,000 Palestinian have obtained the Egyptian nationality since mid-2011.


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