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Israeli Cabinet approves 'death penalty for terrorists' bill

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Feb. 12, 2023. (Photo: Amit Shabi/POOL)

The Israeli Cabinet approved a bill on Sunday to permit the death penalty for terrorists who murder Israeli citizens. 

The purpose of the law is to deter terrorists from attacking Israelis. Until now, Palestinians have been encouraged and incentivized by the Palestinian Authority to commit acts of terrorism against Jewish Israelis. Not only are such acts publicly celebrated in their community, but could potentially secure a salary for the terrorist or his family, provided by the PA.

The Israeli bill was approved, despite recent opposition from Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, who said there was a “legal impediment” to unilaterally voting on the law before the National Security Cabinet convenes on the matter. 

The bill's sponsor, Jewish Power party Knesset Member Limor Son Har-Melech, stressed that the new law targets individuals who “intentionally, or out of indifference, cause the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out from a racist motive or hate for a certain public ... and with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland.”

The 'death penalty for terrorists’ bill is expected to be presented to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, for preliminary approval on Wednesday. The National Security Cabinet will then debate it before its first reading in the Knesset. 

Two Israeli brothers were murdered on Sunday in a terror attack outside the city of Nablus in Samaria, shot point-blank in their vehicle. 

“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,” said Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. 

In February, Ben Gvir called for a “Defensive Shield 2” operation against Palestinian terrorists who attack Israelis. Israel launched the original Defensive Shield Operation in 2002 as a strategy to combat the massive terrorist wave in West Bank during the Second Intifada. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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