CAIRO (AFP) – A Cairo court on Saturday upheld a ruling to strip Egyptian men married to Israeli women of their citizenship in a case that has highlighted national sentiment towards Israel.
Judge Mohammed al-Husseini sitting on the Supreme Administrative Court said the interior ministry must ask cabinet to take the necessary steps to strip Egyptian men married to Israeli women, and their children, of their citizenship.
The court said that each case should be considered separately, in a ruling that cannot be appealed.
The ruling reflects Egyptian sentiment towards Israel, 30 years after Egypt signed an unpopular peace deal with the Jewish state.
Lawyer Nabil al-Wahsh said he originally brought the case to court so as to prevent the creation of a generation “disloyal to Egypt and the Arab world.”
Children of such marriages “should not be allowed to perform their military service,” he said.
The number of Egyptian men married to Israeli women is thought to be around 30,000, according to Wahsh, only 10 percent of whom are married to Arab Israelis.
A lower court ruled last year that the interior minister must look into the cases of Egyptian men married to Israeli women, and their children, in order to “take the necessary steps to strip them of their nationality.”
The interior and foreign ministries had appealed the case, saying it was for parliament to decide on such matters.
Thousands of Egyptians, particularly a large number who lived in Iraq and returned after the 1990 Gulf War over Kuwait, moved to Israel in search of work and married Israeli women.
In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel.