A judge in Tel Aviv's District Court on Sunday rejected Interior Minister Aryeh Deri's (Shas) request to strip a terrorist of his Israeli citizenship.
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, Deri submitted to the 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."
On Monday morning, Deri responded, "This is a decision which does not take the Israeli public's emotions, or those of terror victims' families, into consideration."
"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.