Knesset Approves Life Sentence Without Parole for Murderers

To Prevent Future Releases of Palestinian Terrorists

Free at Last: Relatives of freed Palestinian prisoners gather to welcome them home in the West Bank.
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Free at Last: Relatives of freed Palestinian prisoners gather to welcome them home in the West Bank.

By JTA

Published May 11, 2014.

A Knesset committee approved a bill that would allow murderers to be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation passed the bill Sunday by a vote of 7 to 3. Committee members from the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home parties voted in favor of the bill, committee members from Yesh Atid and the Hatnua party of Tzipi Livni voted against the bill.

The bill is a bid to prevent future releases of Palestinian terrorists who killed Jews from prison in swaps for either Jewish hostages or for advancement in the peace process.

Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party, who sponsored the bill, told Israel Radio before the vote that the bill would equally affect both Muslim and Jewish murderers.

“Just as Arab murderers wouldn’t receive a pardon, neither would Yigal Amir,” who assassinated former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Shaked said.

The bill would prevent the president from using his power to pardon criminals in cases such as terrorist attacks, nationalistic murderers and the killing of a child. A judge would have to approve such pardons.

The bill must still pass three readings in the Knesset before becoming a law. Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said in a post on Facebook that his party will work to quickly pass the bill through the Knesset.

“Killers should die in prison and not celebrate at home,” he wrote.



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