Several MKs have filed a proposal that would make the murder of children a crime punishable by death. Carmel Shama (Likud), Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu), Aryeh Eldad (National Union), and Aryeh Bibi (Kadima) filed the law Monday.
Murder is not punishable by the death penalty in Israel, and capital punishment has not been used since the hanging of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962.
The proposal was drafted in response to the murder of the Oshrenko family of Rishon LeTzion. Six members of the same family – grandparents Edward and Ludmilla, their son Dmitri and his wife Tatiana, and their young children Revital (3) and Netanel (4 months) – were stabbed to death in one night.
On Monday, police announced that they had arrested suspects in the slayings: Dmitri Olegovich Kirilik, a former employee in the Oshrenko family business, and his wife Natalia. Kirilik immigrated to Israel from Russia, where he was wanted for his role in a robbery.
"Every murder is shocking and inconceivable, but there is something about the murder of those who are defenseless, such as young children, that calls out for a particularly extreme punishment,” MK Shama said in explanation of the bill. Those who murder children are “wild animals that look like people,” and do not deserve to be called human, he added.
MK Eldad expressed hope that introducing capital punishment would serve as a deterrent to would-be killers. Currently, murderers know that even if they are caught, they will be free in 20 or 30 years, he said. By “taking punishment to the extreme,” Israel might succeed in making criminals reconsider their plans, he said.