Egyptian-Israeli Citizenship Issues Are Impeding Normalization

Published: 3/Jan/2019
Source: Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Haisam Hassanein

Also available in العربية

Egyptian authorities are still using travel restrictions, intimidation, and loss of citizenship to discourage their compatriots from living in or even visiting Israel.

On December 20, Cairo announced that it was revoking the citizenship of Yasmine Nissim, a twenty-one-year-old Egyptian woman living in Israel. According to a statement published by the prime minister’s office, the decision was made because she had acquired Israeli citizenship without notifying Egyptian authorities. Officials cited Law No. 26 (1975), part of which states that any person can be stripped of citizenship if they were “described to be Zionist at any time.”

The verdict has generated a great deal of controversy in Egyptian media circles. The woman turned out to be the granddaughter of Muhammad Nissim, a Free Officer in the 1952 coup and a former intelligence operative who is widely known for his involvement in past espionage operations against Israel.

Over the past year, the Egyptian government has nullified the citizenship of nine Muslims and Copts living in Israel. Meanwhile, Egyptians who obtained citizenship in other foreign countries have generally been permitted to retain their native citizenship.

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Themes: Discrimination, Sexuelle, Perte et déchéance de la nationalité, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Egypte
Year: 2019