Opposing the death penalty, MK Shelly Yacimovich of the Zionist Union suggests the ministers’ call for the death penalty is a “populist” ploy to replace decision-making.
By LAHAV HARKOV
Several ministers in the Security Cabinet called for the terrorist who massacred a family Halamish Friday night to be executed ahead of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
Military courts can sentence someone to death, though the option has not been used since 1962, when senior Nazi Adolf Eichmann was hanged after being convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The ministers called for the death penalty after 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abed entered a home in Halamish, in Samaria, and began stabbing members of the Salomon family, who were having Shabbat dinner. He murdered Yosef Salomon, 70, and his children Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36, who was celebrating the birth of his fifth child. He also severely injured Yosef’s wife Tovah, who remains hospitalized. Elad’s wife was able to hide together with her five children, saving their lives. An IDF soldier who lives nearby shot al-Abed before he was able to continue the massacre.
“The option of the death penalty exists in military courts,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said. “There is no need for legislation; just to ask. I call on the military prosecution to demand the death penalty for the terrorist that killed the Salomon family.”Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also of Bayit Yehudi, took to twitter to say that “the murderers of children and families deserve the death penalty. This punishment exists in the military courts if there is consensus among the judges. This is a case that requires the death penalty for the murderer.”
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz made similar comments on Saturday night, saying that he plans to bring up the demand in the cabinet meeting, and that the Attorney-General said that the death penalty is a possibility if it is the Security Cabinet’s position.
“The beastly man who murdered three family members should get the death penalty. If it weren’t for the resourcefulness of the soldier who shot him, he would have murdered more…It’s time to implement the policy,” of allowing death sentences in a military court, Katz stated.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a meeting of Likud ministers that they should behave responsibly.
“Since the beginning of the events,” Netanyahu said of the wave of violence that began with Israeli Arabs killing three Israeli policemen last Friday, “I held a series of meetings and evaluations of the situation with all the security forces, including those in the field. We are getting an up-to-date picture of the situation and recommendations of how to act, and we are acting in accordance with them.
“We are managing this calmly, decisively and responsibly, and we will continue to do that to protect security. I also expect you to behave with the necessary responsibility,” the prime minister stated.
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forrer also called for the death penalty, a policy his party has long touted.
“A similar thing happened to the Fogel family,” when Palestinians massacred five members of a family in their beds in Itamar in 2011, “and the murderers are sitting in prison and enjoying good conditions and continuous funding from the Palesitnian Authority,” Forrer said.
In the opposition, MK Shelly Yacimovich (Zionist Union) said the ministers’ calls for death penalty are an attempt to replace decision-making.
“Any reasonable person knows that it’s not a punishment, because death is exactly what this heinous terrorist hoped for, and that the call will not be implemented and will remain a populist call for revenge,” she stated. “It is unfortunate and disconcerting that cabinet ministers have decided to protect the prime minister from his right for political reasons, instead of dealing with solutions that will prevent murderous and shocking terrorist attacks like the one on Friday night.”
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