Israel Passes Anti-Terror Legislation

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Three new anti-terror bills passed their preliminary readings in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) Wednesday.

The new anti-terror legislation is designed to impose heavier penalties on Israeli residents who participate in an act of terror.

Last week, an Israeli Arab used a bulldozer to smash cars, overturn a bus and crush three people to death in their vehicles. Sixty-six people were injured in the rampage.

Member of Knesset Gideon Sa'ar (Likud) sponsored a bill allowing the State to seize property owned by anyone who perpetrates a terror attack.

"The difficult reality that was forced upon us recently -- when residents of the State of Israel are carrying out murderous terror attacks against the country's citizens -- demands the supplying of effective tools," Sa'ar said.

"Seizing houses and lands belonging to terrorists will improve the deterrent ability against potential terrorists," he said.

Arab MK Taleb a-Sanaa (United Arab List) argued that the bill doesn't define an act of terror specifically enough, which opens up "very dangerous implications."

"There are two principles competing to a certain degree," Sanaa said. "Regarding the war on terror, there is no argument and no problem with this. But under the headline of the war on terror, we should not harm -- in an unreasonable unjust and unjustified manner -- and there is thus a need to define the type of offense, what terror offense and under what circumstances," he said.

Despite a-Sanaa's objections, the bill passed its preliminary reading by a margin of 50 to 13.

The second bill, sponsored by MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) cancels citizenship or permanent residency status of anyone taking part in a terror attack or being a member of a terror organization.

The third bill, proposed by MK Yochanan Plessner (Kadima) denies residency status to anyone living in east Jerusalem who takes part in any terror-related activity.

"In recent years, a minority of east Jerusalem residents aided terrorists in overcoming the deterrents that have been established since the erection of the security fence," Plessner explained.

"This proposal will discourage anybody who enjoys the social benefits of the State of Israel to take advantage of their Israeli identity card and their work equipment to murder Jews," he said.

Arab MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) argued that someone planning a terror attack is not concerned with his or her status.

"Whoever is planning on carrying out such an act as described in this proposal, his residency status isn't going to deter him," Barakei said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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