An ex-Israeli soldier is seeking to renounce his citizenship and live under the rule of the Palestinian authority.
Andre Pshenichnikov, a 23-year-old Jewish immigrant from Tajikistan, was recently detained by Israeli police for residing illegally in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. There he told police that he wants to break all ties with Israel, give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian one instead.
Pshenickhnikov’s experiences in the Israel Defense Forces led him to want to disassociate himself from Israeli society.
‘I hate Zionism … I want to be part of the Palestinian resistance,’ Pshenichnikov told The Associated Press. ‘I call for other Israelis who support the existence of a state of Palestine to do the same, to come live in the West Bank or Gaza as Palestinians.’
The Palestinian authorities, however, viewed Pshenickhnikov with suspicion and turned him over to the Israelis who after a brief incarceration have released him on bail. The young would-be resistance member faces charges of living illegally in a Palestinian area.
Pshenickhnikov hopes that he will be able to return to live in the refugee camp, but is philosophical about his chances of fulfilling his desires.
‘I believe everything in this world is possible and even if I’m not able to get citizenship, the process itself is very important,’ says Pshenichnikov. ‘It will show the world that Israel, not the Palestinian Authority, is really in control of the West Bank.’