7 Jun 2010

Egyptian men married to Israelis may lose rights

1:28 pm on 7 June 2010

A court in Egypt has upheld a ruling that Egyptian men married to Israelis should be stripped of their citizenship.

The ruling requires officials to send all such cases to the cabinet, to be decided on an individual basis.

The interior ministry had appealed against the original ruling, made by a lower court last year.

The decision is being seen as a sign of negative feeling towards Israel in Egypt, despite a 1979 peace treaty. Anti-Israeli sentiment is high in the country in the wake of the Gaza aid ships raid - but the long-scheduled court decision was not connected.

The ruling calls on the cabinet to determine whether to remove the nationality of the men concerned, as well as that of their children, and advises it to consider whether the Israeli woman is an Arab or a Jew.

It is estimated that about 30,000 Egyptians are married to Israeli women.