Shai Dromi – shot a burglar to death
Photo: Herzel Yosef

New law allows homeowners to shoot burglars

Legislation absolving homeowners from criminal responsibility approved by large majority

The Knesset approved Tuesday evening a new law that allows homeowners to shoot burglars without facing criminal charges. The new legislation, known as the "Dromi Law," was introduced following the case of southern farmer Shai Dromi who shot and killed a Bedouin who broke into his farm.


A total of 44 Knesset members voted in favor of the new law while only seven MKs voted against it.


According to the new legislation, a person will be absolved of criminal responsibility for "an act that was urgently needed in order to fight off someone who burglarizes or enters a residential home, business, or fenced agricultural plot…with the intention of committing an offence…"


'Death penalty for property offences'

However, the legislation will not be applied should the act in question be "wholly unreasonable in light of the circumstances of the case."


"We're talking about a historic day," said Knesset Member Yisrael Katz, who introduced the legislation. "I'm convinced that the new law will boost deterrence and improve personal safety. The government and other bodies dealing with this matter should embark on a wide-scale campaign to explain the change in the legal status to the public."


"I'm sure that after several cases where the burglars see that reality is changing, we'll see a dramatic decline in the scope of burglaries and a fundamental change in the level of personal safety," Katz said.


However, not all Knesset members shared Katz's view. MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) said that "burglars are criminals, but citizens cannot execute burglars…it is unthinkable to have property rights surpass the right to life. Israel will become the only country that imposes the death penalty for property offences."


פרסום ראשון: 06.24.08, 20:59
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