Having passed legal scrutiny, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party have sponsored legislation seeking the death penalty for convicted terrorists. In support of this action, a group of 50 bereaved families are urging Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to promote the bill, saying “clear action” is the only way to deter killers.
By Yair Altman
A group of 50 families who lost loved ones to terrorist attacks has called on Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to promote a bill sponsored by Yisrael Beytenu MK Robert Ilatov that would allow Israel to execute convicted terrorists.
“We ask that you use every means at your disposal to pass this bill as soon as possible,” the families said in a letter sent to Shaked on Tuesday.
“We have lost what was most dear to us – our children, our wives, our husbands, and our siblings. Unfortunately, these despicable murderers are currently enjoying the best prison conditions possible, which have no equal anywhere in the world.”
The families said the bill is a “necessary step that will keep other families from joining, heaven forbid, the circle of the bereft. In an uncompromising war on terrorism, there is no place for political considerations – we must strike at it with great force.”
The letter continued, “We must fight terrorism with an iron fist and not by giving [terrorists] prison conditions that don’t even exist in hotels. Terrorism must be defeated through determination and an iron fist. It’s in your hands.”
The death penalty for terrorists will be a significant tool of deterrence. We can not allow terrorists to know that after they committed a murder, they will sit in prison, enjoying such and such conditions and may even be released in the future.
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Matan Peleg, chairman of the right-wing Im Tirtzu organization, which is mentoring the bereaved families in their battle, said, “To truly stop the spirit of terrorism, we must construct a package of deterrence that every terrorist will fear. This is a historic bill that will finally put an end to terrorism.”
Ilatov said: “The legislation should be very simple and very clear – a terrorist who arrives with the intention of murdering innocent civilians faces a death sentence.”
Devora Gonen, whose son Danny was killed in a terrorist attack near the Dolev settlement two years ago, said that “the death sentence for terrorists is the best way of ending terrorism.”
According to Gonen, “We’re sick of talk. It’s time for clear actions.”
Shaked’s office issued a statement in response to the families’ letter.
“The minister will insist that there not be a ‘Schalit Deal II’ and terrorists will not be released as long as she is in the government. As for the bill itself, Yisrael Beytenu is welcome to submit the bill to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, as per procedure.
“It should be noted that military law allows for the death sentence for terrorists, and perhaps it should be utilized,” the statement said.
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