ISRAEL: KNESSET TO DEBATE NEW DEATH PENALTY FOR TERRORISTS BILL
|Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 2, 2017:
A bill proposing an amendment to the Penal Law and the Anti-Terrorism Law, allowing the court to sentence to death terrorists who murdered innocent civilians will be added to the Knesset agenda soon by MK Nava Boker (Likud), Israel Hayom reported. (Sources: jewishpress.com, 02/08/2017)
The bill proposes adding two new articles to the Penal Law, the first of which, 99 (a), states that “a person who committed acts of intentional killing in order to assist a terrorist organization or an enemy during hostilities carried out against Israel, following a call from a terrorist organization or an enemy state, whether the order to carry out the operation was given to him personally or he responded to a general and non-specific call to take violent action out of identification with a goal of the enemy or terrorist organization – will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment.”
In a similar fashion, the amended articles which so far imposed only life imprisonment for acts of treason and/or terrorism, will now carry the death penalty as the first option before a judge.
The explanatory notes accompanying the bill state that “there is a legislative, social and public need for deterrent punishment that will contribute to social safety and the principle of protecting the state against and citizens by eradicating terrorist attacks.”
The bill’s sponsor, Knesset Deputy Speaker MK Nava Boker, said that she had decided to submit the bill because “the murderers of the Fogel family from Itamar now live in a four-star hotel in an Israeli prison.”
The Itamar massacre of March 11, 2011 was a terror attack on the Israeli settlement of Itamar in Judea and Samaria, in which five members of the Fogel family were murdered in their beds.
“I have no doubt that the death penalty for terrorists, along with other means, constitutes real deterrence and helps to eradicate terror in Israel,” MK Boker stated, adding that “the time has come to put an end to our groveling before terror and our enemies. It is important that the family of a terrorist who sends its son to murder will know that he would receive the worst punishment of all and will not spend a few years in a four-star hotel in an Israeli prison and then be released in a swap deal and go back to murdering innocent civilians.”
Following the recent massacre of three members of the same family in Halamish, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed support for the execution of the terrorist Omar al-‘Abd from the nearby village of Qubar, who carried out the murders.