ERUSALEM, Nov. 6 — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced on Tuesday that a bill calling for the death penalty for Palestinian killers of Israelis would be brought for a discussion at the parliament next week.
The controversial legislation was scheduled to be discussed at the parliament’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday, Lieberman said on his Twitter account.
He noted that the discussion will be held “after more than three years of persistence struggle.”
According to Lieberman, after the discussion, the bill will be brought for a vote in the parliament’s plenum, the first of three full rounds of votes necessary before the bill could become a law.
“We will not give up and we will not stop until the mission is accomplished,” Lieberman added.
His remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a go-ahead for lawmakers to push the bill forward.
Israel Radio reported that Netanyahu’s decision was made despite the Shin Bet security service and the military’s rejection, who cited fears that it might have counterproductive effect.
Netanyahu told a meeting of leaders of his coalition factions that opposition from the security establishment should not prevent the coalition from advancing the bill, Israel Radio reported.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) slammed the move.
Yousef Al-Mahmoud, Palestinian government spokesperson, said in a press statement on Monday that the green light is “an open call for incitement to kill, execute and massacre Palestinians,” adding the bill constitutes a breach of international and humanitarian laws.
In January, the bill passed a preliminary reading in the Israeli parliament with a narrow majority of 52-49 vote.
The legislation was sponsored by the far-right party of Israel Our Home, headed by Lieberman.
If approved, the law will allow military and civil courts to sentence to death a person who was convicted of committing an “act of terror.”
Israel’s military law has already allowed the death penalty for Palestinian attackers but only in military court and if the entire judges in the panel reach the decision unanimously.
Under the new legislation, both military and civil courts could sentence a Palestinian attacker to death, with a simple majority.
So far, Israel has never sentenced a terrorist to death.
The only time the grave penalty was applied took place in the 1961 execution of Adolf Eichman, a senior German Nazi officer who had been convicted of being a major organizer of the Holocaust. – XINHUA