The Knesset passed Wednesday, in the preliminary reading, a bill proposed by MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beytenu) that would cancel the eligibility of certain terrorists freed from Israeli jails to receive National Insurance payments.
The terrorists affected would be those who are Israeli citizens and who were released before the end of their jail terms in assorted deals and 'gestures.'
MK Levin noted that the release of security prisoners is absurd in and of itself, but paying them NII benefits is even more absurd. When freed from Israeli jails, terrorists who are Israeli citizens receive an “acclimation stipend.” In addition, they are eligible for welfare checks.
Levin told Arutz Sheva that the proposed law will make released terrorists ineligible for any NII payments for the duration of the term that they were sentenced to, so that terrorists who had received life sentences would never be eligible for payments. The freed terrorists would only begin receiving NII rights when their original jail term is over, so that a terrorist released at age 40 with ten years remaining to serve would only become eligible for benefits at age 50, for instance.
Levin noted that five of the terrorist murderers released from jail in the last installment of the Israeli “gestures” toward the Palestinian Authority are Israeli citizens. This makes them eligible for an “acclimation stipend” upon their release from jail, and they may also request an additional sum of money if they fail to find employment within two months of their release.
This money, at least, would be denied the terrorists who are Israeli citizens and who are released in exchanges and “gestures,” explained Levin.
Levin explained that if it were up to him, he would pass a law simply denying terrorists all NII payments and stipends, forever. However, he explained to Arutz Sheva, the current coalition can be expected to shoot down any such legislation, especially with dovish Minister Tzipi Livni heading the key Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which decides the fate of bills.
He added that attempts to pass legislation cutting off NII assistance to freed terrorists failed in the former Knesset, because of leftist opposition. In the end, a watered-down version of the bill was passed, which cut by 50% some of the stipends they may receive as Israeli citizens.