Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis
Deputy Minister Ofir AkunisFlash 90

Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) indicated on Saturday night that he would vote in favor of a bill that would enact a death penalty for terrorists.

The bill, submitted by Yisrael Beytenu MK Sharon Gal, would alter the existing law and require 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.

The bill will be discussed on Sunday by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, but the Likud party as a whole has not yet decided whether it would support it. Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett has already declared that members of his party would vote for the law.

Ahead of Sunday’s vote at the committee, MK Gal last week launched a Facebook campaign calling for concerned Israelis to post pictures of themselves with a sign reading "I'm also in favor of the death penalty for terrorists."

He called for the pictures to be shared widely, so as to exert pressure on the governmental ministers to respond to the mandate of the public calling for more stringent methods of deterrence against terrorism.

"We promised and we are earnest to deliver," stated Gal. "We must change the reality and topple terrorism. The death penalty law will strengthen Israeli deterrence - it is moral and ethical to legislate it for the preservation of the life of our citizens."

He stated the bill has "wide support among the people - it is clear to all that this is a law that must pass."