Israel’s Knesset to propose Death Penalty legislation for convicted terrorists


The controversial proposal from former FM Avigdor Lieberman would enable courts to sentence convicted terrorists to death.

By David Rosenberg


The Ministerial Committee for Legislation is set to discuss on Sunday a controversial proposal from former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that would enable courts to sentence convicted terrorists to death.

If passed, the legislation would enable military courts to sentence terrorists convicted of attacks “intended to kill citizens for political, national, religious, or ideological purposes.”

The law would also require only a majority, rather than a unanimous decision, to sentence terrorists to death. It would also prohibit reducing the sentence once it has been finalized.

The Ministerial Committee meets every Sunday to discuss pending legislation and to determine the government’s official position on specific bills. The Committee can either vote to affirm or deny the proposal government support, which would obligate all coalition members to vote in favor of the bill, all but assuring its passage.

The Israel Democracy Institute blasted the proposal, calling upon the Committee to reject it on Sunday. In a five page statement the IDI argued that permitting the death penalty would put Israel in company with some of the world’s most undemocratic regimes and biggest human rights offenders like China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Israeli law currently includes the death penalty, but judicial barriers have prevented its use since the execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1962.


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