Former Israeli Military Man Arrested at Refugee Camp, Wants to Give Up Israeli Citizenship
Andre Pshenichnikov, an Israeli who immigrated from the former Soviet Union, was arrested by the IDF after living for two months in the Dheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem and kept in detention for eight days at the police station in the settlement of Kiryat Arba.
He told his police interrogators that he wants to break all ties with Israel, to give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian citizenship instead. Eventually he was released under restrictive conditions and banned from entering the "A" areas of the West Bank penidng the end of legal proceedings against him. He was indicted for having entered these "A" areas which Israelis are forbidden to do under military orders. During some of the proceedings at the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court and District Court, representatives of the prosecution asserted that Pshenichnikov had joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) but eventually withdrew that charge. Regarding the indictment filed against him, Pshenichnikov is represented by Attorney Andre Rosenthal of Jerusalem.
Andre Pshenichnikov, 23, was born in Tajikistan, then part of the Soviet Union. As a child his family moved to Russia. He came to Israel at the age of 13, enlisted in the IDF Signal Corps, after completing three years of mandatory military service, served an additional year and a half under conditions of a career soldier.
During the years there has been a complete turnover in his opinions and he concluded that the State of Israel serves as a representative of the interests of Western powers in the Middle East and that the Zionist movement had made a cynical use of Jewish religion. As noted, this led him to the conclusion of making contact with Palestinians, with whom he spoke in Arabic in which he is fluent, going to live in the Dheishe Refugee Camp and seeking to revoke his Israeli citizenship and get Palestinian citizenship instead.