A law that would, without saying so explicitly, target Palestinian activists. Leaders of the government coalition parties in Israel agreed on Sunday to submit to parliament a draft law making the death penalty for “terrorists” possible, the nationalist party Israel Beiteinou of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.
Leave no hope of liberation
“Today, the death penalty bill for terrorists was finally approved by the leadership coalition forum,” the Hebrew statement said, referring to the leaders of the six political parties in the ruling coalition.
According to the statement, the Minister of Defense argues that this text, if passed by Parliament, would be a powerful deterrent against attacks and would counterbalance the hopes of the attackers who he thinks could be exchanged or released as part of a political agreement.
In 2011, more than 1,000 Palestinians were released in exchange for an Israeli soldier detained for five years in Gaza. “We must not let the terrorists think that after committing a murder, they will be in prison in good condition and then released,” said Avigdor Lieberman, according to the same source.
The communiqué does not specify when this text could be submitted to Parliament where it will have to go through four readings before coming into force. Even adopted, it can still be annulled by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Capital punishment already applied for crimes against humanity and treason
Capital punishment is provided for in Israeli military law in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel for 50 years, but it is rarely pronounced and never implemented, the Israeli daily Haaretz points out.
The law in Israel’s borders provides for the death penalty for crimes against humanity and treason. It was last applied against a Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, convicted in 1961 and hanged a year later.