Monday, January 8, 2018

Advocates of death sentence for terrorists score Knesset victory

Gideon Allon, Shlomo Cesana, Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff, Israel Hayom

Image from article, with caption: Protesters demonstrate outside of a prison last week in support of the death sentence for terrorists

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says "rationale is simple: Whoever slaughters and laughs will be executed," as bill easing implementation of capital punishment passes preliminary reading • Palestinian Prisoner Club chairman denounces "fascist" bill.

The Knesset gave preliminary approval on Wednesday for legislation that would make it easier for a court to impose a death sentence on defendants convicted of murder in terrorist attacks. ...

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who was behind the amendment, rejected the logic espoused by security heads, who argue that the demolition of terrorists' homes deters attacks but the death penalty does not. He said he hoped that, after discussion in the cabinet, the government would decide to submit the terrorist execution bill for a first reading in the Knesset.

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said, "This is reckless legislation that is 100% political. We have to remember that the security establishment opposes the death sentence. The law currently allows the death sentence, but the security establishment opposes it and therefore it is not done."

Some coalition members also opposed the bill initially, including National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz. In a cabinet meeting before the vote, Lieberman slammed his hand on the table in response to Steinitz.

"We are all bound by the coalition agreement," he said.

When told by Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman that there was no coalition position on the matter, Lieberman yelled, "You're a liar!" and left the room. Netanyahu followed him to calm him down.

According to Steinitz, "The death sentence for terrorists is the worst damage we can do to Israeli public diplomacy."

In the end, however, Steinitz voted in favor of the bill, after Netanyahu promised him there would be another cabinet discussion before the subsequent vote on it. ...

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