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Bill Ending Terrorist Pardons Set to be Approved by Government

A law that would prevent mass releases of terrorists is expected to be approved by the government Sunday.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 6/1/2014, 8:38 AM

Terrorist release (archive)
Terrorist release (archive)
Flash 90

The government is expected to approve a law that would prevent mass releases of terrorists. The law, proposed by MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), would allow a court to write into its sentence of a terrorist a clause that would prevent the President from signing off on his pardon in the future.

If passed into law, the bill would change one of the country's Basic Laws, which effectively function as Israel's constitution. Under the Basic Law of the President of the State, passed in 1964, Israel's president has the power to pardon criminals. The new amendment would change this rule, preventing any convicted terrorist from being pardoned for his crimes if the court so decides.

The bill has already garnered tremendous cross-party support: it was signed by members of Jewish Home, HaTnua, Likud, Yisrael Beyteinu and Kadima.

Shaked submitted the bill to the Ministerial Law Committee several months ago, but it was stymied by Science Minister Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid), who claimed that the bill would interfere with the government's ability to set security and political policy. Despite this, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid came to an agreement on supporting the bill.

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said that the bill was “the proper answer to the Fatah-Hamas terror unity government.” In the distant past, he said, Israel refused to release terrorists for any reason, but that resolve has deteriorated to the point where the country is prepared – and already has – over 1,000 terrorists in return for one soldier, and even releasing terrorists just to be able to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority. “Releasing terrorists has become a matter of course,” said Bennett. “This bill will help stop this.”