Israel’s death penalty for terrorists bill passes first parliamentary vote


Israeli ministers in parliament, Jerusalem.
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Israeli ministers in parliament, Jerusalem.

‘The road from here to the elimination of those who defy the regime is short. Today, it is the Palestinians. Tomorrow, it will be protestors on the streets’

The bill allowing capital punishment for terrorism offenses on Wednesday passed a preliminary reading in Israel’s parliamentary by a vote of 55 to 9, bringing the proposed legislation another step closer to being ratified into law.

Currently, the Jewish state does not institute the death penalty, and the law must pass several more votes before it is ratified. Israeli ministers approved the bill after a spate of terror attacks sparked debate on the punishment.

At the initial reading, a majority of Israel’s opposition led by Yair Lapid was absent in protest. Yisrael Beytenu, led by former finance minister Avigdor Liberman, supported the coalition’s bill, proposed by Jewish Party member Son Har-Melech.

The controversial bill was approved to move on to the plenum by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday, despite Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara’s legal opinion that there was a “legal impediment” to voting on the law before Israel’s national security cabinet decided whether the death penalty would be a deterrent.

Following the initial reading, the far-left party Hadash-Ta’al said the law is “crossing a clear red line as part of Israel’s slide into total fascism.”

“The road from here to the elimination of those who defy the regime is short,” the Arab faction continued. “Today, it is the Palestinians, tomorrow, it will be the protestors on the streets. Ben Gvir will be easy on the trigger when it comes to determining who is a terrorist,” it charged, referring to Israel’s firebrand National Security Minister and Jewish Power chief Itamar Ben Gvir.

According to the bill, 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… with the purpose of harming the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in its homeland,” could face the death penalty.

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