Death Penalty Unlikely for Itamar Massacre Terrorists
Israel is very unlikely to mete out the death penalty for the two terrorists who slaughtered five members of the Fogel family, but calls are mounting to make it mandatory in such cases.
Israeli civilian law allows the death penalty only for Nazi criminals, and the only time it has been implemented was for Adolf Eichmann. Military courts could impose a death sentence on terrorists in Judea and Samaria, which are under military law, but this has never happened.
Chava Chai, the neighbor of the Fogels and whose house was the first to be entered by the terrorists while the Chai family was away for the Sabbath, told The New York Times, “We hope they will receive the same justice as the Fogel family. They should be given the death penalty.”
Brigadier General Nitzan Alon, commander of the military in Judea and Samaria, said that the capture of the two teenage terrorists who carried out the brutal murders did not bring the investigators any "feeling of joy" but at least the IDF knows that these terrorists cannot strike again – at least for the time being.
The Palestinian Authority already has called for their release, and if they are convicted, they could be released, as have thousands of other terrorists freed as “goodwill” measures or as a trade for Israeli soldiers’ bodies, and in fewer cases, the return of living Israelis.
The death penalty is the least that the terrorists deserve, said National Union Knesset Member Uri Ariel, quoting a saying by Rabbinic sages that “whoever takes mercy on cruel people will eventually be cruel to merciful people."
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely also called for a change in legislation to allow the death penalty for terrorists, explaining that doing so would serve as deterrence. She was joined by Druze Likud MK Ayoub Kara.
National Union KM Dr. Michael Ben-Ari also called for the death penalty for what he called "monsters.”