Minister Calls for Death Penalty for Convicted Terrorists
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) welcomed the decision to enforce life sentences for terrorists on Sunday, and added that convicted terrorists should be given the death penalty.
"This is a just law, a deterrent which prevents Israel from being extorted and surrendering during negotiations, and which puts an end to releasing murderous terrorists," Katz said, in an interview with Arutz Sheva.
He also noted that he cannot understand why three ministers - two from Yesh Atid and one from HaTnua - opposed the move. "Their approach is incorrect," Katz said. "It is time to remove the equation of releasing terrorists for continuing negotiations [from the political discourse]."
"In the past, releasing terrorist stood against the question of redeeming captives, and we were faced with deep questions about our values," Katz continued. "I was always opposed to releasing terrorists, except when it came to freeing Gilad Shalit. Now they look for us to release terrorists just to continue negotiations, and we pay with the murder of Jews - and now they even demand [arch-terrorist Marwan] Barghouti's release."
According to Katz, a nation must stand on moral principles, and Shaked's landmark bill sets a precedent for that foundation.
"After the murder of the Fogel family [in Itamar, 2011 - ed.] I supported the death penalty for terrorists - and, unfortunately, I have not been able [to pass it into law] in the meantime," he added. "I think that in light of today's ruling, we need to advance the possibility of military courts handing down the death penalty for terrorist murderers and restore deterrent measures for terrorism into Israel's legal system."