Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)
Prisoners in Ofer jail (archive)Flash 90

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday in favor of the bill to prevent Israeli Arab terrorists released in deals or "gestures" to the Palestinian Authority from receiving the “acclimation stipends” that are paid to newly released prisoners, and make them ineligible for basic social security stipends.

MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beytenu), who proposed the bill, thanked the committee for its decision and voiced hope that the legislation would be completed quickly.

"The situation whereby a terrorist who has not served the full term of his sentence and is released receives full social security and benefits from the government is absurd and unacceptable," MK Levin stated Saturday night. "Denial of benefits can make up for, on the smallest level, the pain of their early release."

Levin's proposal states that a terrorist prisoner "will receive no benefits from the state, for the full duration of the prison term allotted to him, even if he is released early – whether due to a pardon or any other reason for his early release."

Simply put, this means that if a terrorist who is an Israeli citizen was sentenced to life in jail – he will not receive benefits for the rest of his life, even if he is released early.

The explanatory notes to the bill states that "the State of Israel has, for many years, dealt with the difficult phenomenon of Israeli citizens and permanent residents being injured or killed in attacks... Meanwhile, Israel was forced on several occasions to allow an early release of the terrorists responsible, many of them with permanent residency status."

"The situation whereby a prisoner is released early, including within the framework of negotiations, while receiving benefits from the State as a result of his early release, is absurd and unacceptable."

Last month, Levin noted to Arutz Sheva that five of the terrorist murderers released from jail in the last installment of the Israeli “gestures” toward the PA 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.

He also noted that previous attempts at enacting similar legislation have failed, due to overwhelming opposition from leftist MKs. Until now, the only measure successfully passed decreased the stipends paid to terrorists by 50%. 

Once the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approves a bill, it enjoys a very good chance of passing in the Knesset plenum, since the Coalition, which holds the majority of seats, has decided to support it.