Israeli ministers approve death penalty for terrorists

Prime minister says Israel to use all security and legislative measures to root out terror; AG warns the proposed law has constintutional difficulties

Moran Azulay, Itamar Eichner|
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved a bill that would allow imposing the death penalty on terrorists.
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  • “On this difficult day, when two Israeli citizens were killed in a Palestinian terror attack, there is nothing more symbolic than passing a death penalty for terrorists law,” said the National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.
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    בנימין נתניהו, בצלאל סמוטריץ' אלי כהן וניר ברקת
    בנימין נתניהו, בצלאל סמוטריץ' אלי כהן וניר ברקת
    National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch, Yonatan Zindel)
    The ministers decided that after the bill is passed in a preliminary reading and before the Knesset votes on the first in three readings, the cabinet would meet to determine the exact wording of the bill.
    Under the proposed law, the court would be able to impose the death penalty on those who committed murders against Israeli citizens for nationalist motives.
    "We will continue to use all security and legislative measures to deter terrorists and preserve Israel's security," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "Our answer to terror is to strike hard at it and deepen our roots in our land," he said.
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    גלי בהרב מיארה
    גלי בהרב מיארה
    Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara
    (Photo: Gil Nechustan)
    Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara opposed the bill, claiming it contained serious constitutional problems.
    "Even though the current and past bills were always seen as a 'necessary deterrents',' imposing worse punishment in general, and the death penalty in particular, would not lead to strengthening the deterrence. This is even more true in cases of ideological criminals and terrorists, who are already willing to die while committing the offense."
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