Thursday, June 16, 2016

Israel Passes New Anti-Terrorism Law

Israel has passed a new anti-terrorism law, which the government of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu says will strengthen the fight against terrorism, but critics call it anti-democratic.

Among others, a terrorist sentenced to life imprisonment can no longer have his sentence reduced during the first 15 years, the report said.

It said that for the first time, tunnel-digging is defined as a criminal offence.

The Law Combating Terrorism initiated by the far-right Jewish Home coalition party passed two final readings in Israel’s 120-seat parliament late on Wednesday, with 57 lawmakers voting in favour and 16 against.

The rest either abstained or were absent.

The law sets harsher punishments for terrorists including longer minimum and maximum jail sentences and grants broader liberties to law enforcement agents to combat terrorism.

It replaces a series of older laws, clauses in older laws and emergency regulations.

One example of a harsher punishment is a maximum prison sentence of seven years for anyone who threatens to carry out a crime that carries a life sentence.

The new terrorist offences called for a terrorist act, without previous stipulations that there must be a real possibility that the act will be implemented as a direct result of the call.

It also allows Israel’s defence minister to confiscate the property of security offenders.

Jewish Home lawmaker, Nissan Slomiansky said that security officials, including of the Shin Bet internal security organisation, had helped formulate the new law.

Opposition lawmakers slammed the law as anti-democratic and violating human rights.
“We should uproot the motivation for terrorism and what fuels the factory that creates motivation for terrorism is the occupation.

“I don’t mean, heaven forbid, to justify terrorism”, she said, but while fighting terrorism “we must not sacrifice basic values,” Zahava Galon of the left-liberal Meretz party said.

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