In June, under the Bennett-Lapid government, Ben-Gvir and Likud MK May Golan sponsored a vote on the death penalty but were voted down.
By United with Israel Staff
After weeks of negotiations since Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory at the polls on November 1, the prime minister-designate succeeded in forming a government with his coalition partners Wednesday evening just 18 minutes before the midnight deadline.
The following evening, it was revealed that included in that agreement, as per the demand of Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, is the passage of a law imposing the death penalty for terrorists, Israel National News reported.
“Due to the intensification of acts of terrorism with the intention of harming the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, and in order to defeat the threats, the coalition factions will enact, prior to the passage of the budget for 2023, a death penalty law for terrorists,” the agreement states.
Currently, the report explains, a death penalty law for terrorists exists in military law, and its implementation requires a unanimous vote. Ben-Gvir demanded that the law be amended so that a basic majority could decide on each case.
Among Israelis pushing for this change, the report noted, was Ofer Cohen, father of terror victim Hadar Cohen, a heroic border policewoman who was critically wounded but managed to shoot one of the attackers before succumbing to her injuries and thus saving the life of another policewoman.
During a vote in June, when then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett headed a coalition of diverse parties ranging from his right-wing Yamina to the Islamic Ra’am, the Knesset Plenum voted down, in a preliminary reading, a proposed amendment to the Penal Law sponsored by Ben-Gvir and Likud MK May Golan. Fifty-two MKs voted against the bill, while 33 voted in favor.
In the course of the vote, a heated exchange took place between Ben-Gvir and pro-Palestinian MK Ahmad Tibi of the Arab Joint List.
The bill proposed that a person who deliberately or through inaction causes the death of an Israeli citizen, with the motivation of racism or hostility against a population, with the aim of harming the State of Israel and the national revival of the Jewish people, would be put to death.
According to explanatory notes to the bill, “In recent years, we have witnessed a growing phenomenon of terrorist attacks in which Jews were murdered solely for being Jews. The common denominator of all these attacks—the murder of Jews solely for being Jews, citizens of Israel, with the aim of harming the State of Israel and the national revival of the Jewish people in its land.
“After each terrorist attack, the top officials of the defense establishment promise that the ‘long arm of the State of Israel will settle the score with the murderers.’ However, in practice, all the murderers receive comfortable conditions in prison and salaries from the Palestinian Authority, and in time most of them are freed in various deals.
“The purpose of this bill is to curtail terrorism and create a weighty deterrent. No more prisons with ‘all-inclusive’ conditions; no more releases of terrorists after serving half their sentence.”
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