'Life Without Parole' Bill Passes Prelim. Reading

Bill to prevent terrorist releases from becoming the norm passes first major hurdle after series of setbacks.

Tova Dvorin ,

Celebrations during the last terrorist releas
Celebrations during the last terrorist releas

The landmark "Life Without Parole" bill passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday, with a 36-20 vote. The bill will now be sent to the Knesset Committee for Legislation to be revised before the first official reading. 

The bill changes one of the Basic Laws of Israel, which forms the basis for the formation and role of Israel's institutions, and the relations between the state's different ministries and authorities.

The Basic Law of the President of the State, passed in 1964, allows the President to pardon criminals - at least until now.

The new amendment changes this rule, preventing any convicted terrorist from being pardoned for his crimes under certain conditions. 

The amendment seeks to allow the judges of the court during trials for nationalist murders, terrorist activity or any other heinous crime, to negate at the time of sentencing the possibility of providing future amnesty.

Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked first proposed the bill in December, but the initiative has faced numerous political and technical setbacks.

Last month, a Ministerial Cabinet approved the bill by a landslide vote, only for the law to be vetoed at the last second by Yesh Atid MK Ya'akov Perry. 

But on Sunday, the law was approved by a special government Cabinet, in a last-minute move decided by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week.