MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) slammed the court decision preventing the revocation of citizenship of an Arab terrorist who planted an explosive on a bus in Tel Aviv. Twenty-four civilians were injured in the attack.
"I really do not have words to describe my frustration and pain from the Israeli legal system, which is revealed time and time again in its nakedness, as a screwed-up system with a distorted world of values and crooked and disconnected judgment," Smotrich said.
On November 21, 2012, then-18-year-old Muhammad Mafarji detonated an explosive device on a crowded bus in central Tel Aviv, wounding 24 people, two of them severely.
Mafarji and his father received permanent residency in 1995, under an Israeli law aiming to unite formerly separated families. In 2008, he received Israeli citizenship, and four years later, he carried out a terror attack against Israeli civilians.
Mafarji was charged with intending to aid Israel's enemies, attempted murder, and causing severe injury. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
After consulting with Israel's Attorney General, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri submitted to the Central District court a request to revoke Mafarji's citizenship. On Sunday, the court rejected his request, claiming that "when measuring acts of terror - most of which are brutal and criminal - what [Mafarji] did, though severe, is not unusual or extreme."
"This is a decision which does not take the Israeli public's emotions, or those of terror victims' families, into consideration," Deri responded.
"If placing an explosive device on a bus and injuring 24 people is not considered extreme enough, then what is considered extreme?" he asked, promising to appeal the decision.