Yisrael Beytenu Delivers with Terrorist Death Penalty Bill

Campaign promise acted on immediately in new bill to have Arab terrorists executed; 'it is clear to all this law must pass.'

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Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar,

Sharon Gal
Sharon Gal
Basal Awidat/Flash 90

Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu lost absolutely no time in fulfilling its campaign pledge of a death penalty for Arab terrorists, with the party's MK Sharon Gal submitting a bill on the subject even as the 20th Knesset was sworn in on Tuesday.

While Israel already has a death penalty on the law books, it has only been implemented once in the case of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, who was put to death back in 1962.

The new bill would alter the law, requiring that those found guilty of murder for terrorist reasons be executed.

In addition, the bill includes a clause specifying that those murdering Israeli civilians through terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria - which remains under martial law given that Israel has yet to annex the region following its liberation in the 1967 Six Day War - will also be liable to the death penalty.

Currently only a unanimous vote in Judea and Samaria military courts can lead to a death penalty, a result that has yet to be recorded. Instead the new law would require only a majority to rule the death penalty, and likewise it will prevent the regional IDF commander from being able to lighten the sentence.

Just last Thursday an Arab terrorist who murdered 25-year-old Dalia Lemkos was let off without a death sentence in the military courts, receiving instead two life sentences.

"We promised, and we are determined to deliver," said Gal, the MK behind the new law. "We have to change the reality and eradicate terrorism. The death penalty law will strengthen Israeli deterrence - it is moral and ethical to legislate it to preserve the lives of our citizens. This has wide support among the people - it is clear to all that this law must pass."

In an effort to address the situation whereby Arab terrorists sit in jail in privileged conditions before being released in terror swaps, such as the 2011 Shalit deal that saw 1,027 terrorists go free, in the last coalition Jewish Home initiated a "life without parole" law that was passed last November.

However, Meir Indor, head of the Almagor terror victims organization, revealed to Arutz Sheva last year that the law is "practically ineffective." One of the key flaws he pointed out is that it doesn't address terrorists sentenced in military courts in Judea and Samaria, where the majority of attacks and concurrent trials occur.

Another shortcoming he noted was that the law didn't apply retroactively to terrorists who were already sentenced prior to its passage, and that it leaves it up to the judge's discretion whether or not to sentence a terrorist without chance of parole.