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Knesset Approves 'Anti-Terror Law'

The law stiffens punishment for terror and replaces some of the British-era emergency orders with modern versions.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/3/2011, 10:22 PM

The Knesset approved in the first reading Wednesday a government-sponsored law that would organize and reframe the legal means for fighting terrorist organizations.

Some parts of the law will replace some of the British-era emergency orders of 1945, which are no longer deemed necessary. It is intended to give modern tools for the prevention of the existence and operation of terror organizations, for disrupting the organizational and financing infrastructures that maintain them, for catching perpetrators and bringing them to justice.  
 
The law would provide a mechanism for declaring a group a terror organization, including the possibility of declaring an institution, a faction or branch operated by terror group members as a terror organization. This will be possible even if some of the organization's activity is legal. 
 
The law also specifies new categories of terror offenses including the management of a terror organization, recruitment and membership in a terror organization, manifestation of identification with a terror organization, incitement to terror, assisting terror and non-prevention of terror.
Punishment for a terror act as defined by law will be doubled and the duration of what Israeli law considers a "life sentence" for terror will be extended.  
 
The law widens the police's authority in preventing terror and closing down venues that serve terror organizations in their activities.
 
28 MKs voted in favor and 11 against. The bill goes to the Law, Constitution and Justice Committee for preparation for its final readings.