Netanyahu moves to expel terrorists' families

Prime Minister turns to Attorney General to examine possibility of expelling relatives who encourage and support terror.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Emil Salman/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu turned Wednesday to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, to explore the legal viability of expelling the families of terrorist murderers to Gaza.

The potential measure has long been advocated by some officials - including members of the government from the Jewish Home and Likud parties - as a means of deterring terrorists.

Families of terrorists who celebrate or knew about their attacks in advance already have their homes bulldozed as part of a raft of counterterrorism deterrence measures enacted by the government since the wave of terror began last year, but the option of expulsion has until now not been implemented.

"Many terror attacks in the last few months have been carried out by 'lone wolf' terrorists," Netanyahu wrote in his letter to Mandelblit. "These attackers sometimes come from families who encourage and assist their attacks.

"I request your legal opinion on the possibility of... distancing family members who aided terror to the Gaza Strip."

"I will explain that the use of this measure will bring about a significant decrease in acts of terror against the State of Israel, its citizens and residents," the PM added.

Supporters of the move within the government include Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan of the Jewish Home party, and Transportation Minister Haim Katz of Netanyahu's own Likud party.

Earlier this week, Katz once again voiced his support for expelling terrorists' families to Gaza.

"Our duty as a government is to save lives, and expelling the families of terrorists will decrease the motivation among those minors to carry out attacks," he said, referring to the young ages of many attackers, most of whom are not formally members of terrorist organizations.

"I am sure that after the expulsion of several individual families this 'terror of individuals and minors' will stop," he added. "This is our obligation. We are fighting for our home and our job is to make sure this stops."

If plans to expel terrorists' families from the country altogether face too many legal obstacles, MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) has suggested relocating them to isolated areas in Israel's southern Negev Desert.

"No son wants his father and mother to find themselves with no livelihood, and his brothers without an education," Yogev said.