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Bill to Mandate Life Sentence for Terrorist Kidnappings

Jewish Home MKs think raising punishment for nationalistically-motivated abductions will have a deterrent effect on terrorists.
By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/19/2014, 10:51 AM

MK Motti Yogev
MK Motti Yogev
Flash 90

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) has proposed, along with several other MKs, a bill that would mandate a sentence of life imprisonment to terrorists convicted of abduction, an offense that currently carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

According to the explanatory notes that accompany the bill, "In view of the abduction of the three boys and the prevention, by the Israel Security Agency and the security forces, of 30 other planned terrorist abductions, Israel's deterrence must be improved."

Earlier, Jewish Home MK Yogev, a colonel in the reserves who heads the Knesset's Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria, stated: "We need to ask ourselves, what brings about the daring of those terrorists in Judea and Samaria? Stopping the cycle of blood means – if they kidnap our boys, we put all of the terrorists freed in the Shalit deal back in jail, and increase the severity of punishment against abductors. The only thing that will stop the terrorism is the deterrent force of the IDF and security establishment.”

Other signatories on the bill include Foregn Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) and Finance Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home). "Whoever even thinks about abduction must know that he will get a life sentence and spend the rest of his life in jail without the option of a pardon," said Slomiansky, whose Jewish Home party was behind a law to grant judges the option to jail terrorists to life without parole, thus excluding them from future prisoner swaps.

Another signatory, MK Zevulun Kalfa (Jewish Home), agreed.

"In order to prevent the next abduction, Israel must revive its deterrent force, and one way of achieving this is by increasing the severity of terrorists' punishment. The state of Israel must stop the revolving door system and make sure that abductions for bargaining do not work," he said.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said Wednesday that Israel "did not ask for this confrontation - but let no one think they can kidnap or hurt our children and get away with it alive."

"We will hunt them, and their leaders, down wherever they hide and will severely punish them and those who sent them," he declared.

"Let us not hide from the facts: Hamas is an Islamic terrorist organization whose avowed goal is to kidnap Jewish children in this case, or kill Jewish children in other cases, only because they are Jews," he continued. "This will not be tolerated."