27 February 2023 :
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on 26 February 2023 approved a bill that institutes a death penalty for terrorists. The approval came despite Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara’s issuing an opinion last week that there was a “legal impediment” to voting on the law before the national security cabinet meets to decide whether the penalty would create deterrence.
According to the bill proposed by Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Son Har-Melech, someone who “intentionally or out of indifference causes the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out from a racist motive or hate to a certain public... and with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland,” faces a death sentence, and that sentence alone.
In addition, if such a crime is committed in the West Bank, the punishment would apply in military courts even if the ruling is not unanimous, and the punishment could not be lightened after it is finalized in a regional court.
The law is to be brought for preliminary approval in the Knesset as early as 1st March. The national security cabinet will then debate it prior to its first reading in the Knesset plenum.
“On this difficult day, when two Israeli citizens are murdered in a Palestinian terrorist attack, there is nothing more symbolic than passing the death penalty for terrorists’ law,” National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said in a joint statement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This is a moral law, and [it is] fair, which exists in the largest democracy in the world and all the more so in a country where a wave of terrorism is [targeting] Israeli citizens.”