Bill Protects Right of Self-Defense

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - A bill designed to protect Israelis from indictment for defending themselves against intruders is making its way through the legislative process.

Dubbed the "Shai Dromi law," the name is based on an incident in which an Israeli killed a Beduoin who repeatedly came to his Negev farm, killing his dogs and stealing sheep and whatever else he could lay his hands on.

Israeli farmers and ranchers have been subject to theft by Arab neighbors, a problem that has been increasing over the past several years.

Many times, the law sides with the thieves rather than the victims.

Though the Knesset Law Committee's bill passed its first reading, some members of Knesset thought it too far-reaching and drafted another version of the bill.

The members of Knesset (MKs) argued that the committee's bill permitted victims to open fire before their lives were "genuinely endangered."

Both bills were presented to the plenum and passed their first reading.

The committee must now either merge the two pieces of legislation or choose the more comprehensive of the two.

The more moderate bill states, "No person shall bear criminal responsibility for an act that was done to repel someone who enters or breaks into his home to commit or to try to commit, a crime."

While the legislation is named after a sheep farmer, it provides no special protection for farmers.

"There is a distorted perception among some people," MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) told members of the law committee.

"I saw in one newspaper that the Justice Ministry believes the bill will increase the number of killings. This is a distorted and unjust understanding," he said.

"These people are turning farmers into murderers. The farmers are not killers or potential killers," Rotem argued.

"When an ordinary person is confronted with an intruder, he is in tangible danger. Let's stop defending crime. If the bill is passed as is, I can guarantee you that potential intruders will think twice before breaking into a house," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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