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Lieberman Proposes Amending Nation-State Law

Lieberman Proposes Amending Nation-State Law

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 06:45
Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks to the media during the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem August 1, 2021. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

After the Israeli army released the identity of Mahmoud Kheir Din, a Druze officer who was killed in Gaza in 2018, Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed on Sunday amending the Nation-State Law that defines the country as the nation state of the Jewish people.

"There is a clear contradiction between the Nation-State Law in its current version and the tributes given in honor of Lt. Col. Mahmoud Kheir al-Din," the minister said on Twitter.

"This is an opportunity to amend the nation-state law and make the Declaration of Independence a fundamental legislation," he added.

Kheir al-Din was killed on November 11, 2018 in an operation in Khan Yunis during a clash with Hamas fighters.

Seven Hamas members were also killed in the firefight.

Major General Aharon Haliva, head of the Israeli Military Intelligence (Aman), praised the Druze officer, noting that Kheir al-Din's conduct during the operation allowed the rest of his force to escape unharmed.

Until now, the Israeli army had prohibited publicizing his name, amid concerns that exposing his identity could endanger other combatants who served with him on sensitive missions.

Haliva said the move to release Kheir al-Din's identity was coordinated with his family, and followed two months of work on the issue by the Ops Directorate staff.

Kheir al-Din was killed shortly after the Knesset passed the Nation-State law, which defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, consequently sparking protest among the Arab community in Israel.

At the time of his killing, some claimed that Kheir el-Din's identity was not publicized due to considerations other than state security, and that the move was advanced by senior officials who worked with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an attempt to prevent embarrassment due to their support of the law.

Therefore, Lieberman said he intends to propose amending the Nation-State law by the Knesset, to allow Israel to become a democratic Jewish state where Israeli citizens are equal before the law as stipulated by the Declaration of Independence.

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