Knesset advances bill enabling deportation of terrorists’ families

The expulsion of terrorists’ families, the bill states, “is a proven ‎deterrent that has the power to decrease ‎terrorist attacks and save lives.”

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

A bill that would allow Israel to expel family members of a terrorist from their home passed its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.

A majority of 69 MKs voted in favor of the bill, while 38 voted against it.

The bill states that the IDF will be able to remove a terrorist’s family from their town or city, or demarcate an area in which they are not allowed to enter, as a means to deter potential terrorists from carrying out an attack, a policy similar to Israel’s demolition of terrorists’ homes.

The legislation, submitted by a group of lawmakers led by MK Mordhay Yogev (Jewish Home), would give the GOC ‎Central Command the authority to relocate a terrorist’s ‎family to another area within a week of the ‎attack.

The explanatory notes accompanying the bill say that deterrence is “the cornerstone of Israeli security and a way to save lives and uphold law and order.”

The expulsion of terrorists’ families, the bill states, “is a proven ‎deterrent that has the power to decrease ‎terrorist attacks and save lives. When the legal process continues for weeks and months, the deterrence is lost.”

“Does anyone in this hall believe Israeli deterrence is in a good state? Can anyone look the bereaved families in the eye and say that over the past year we have done all we can so that they are not joined by more families? Some call such laws populist. Since when are laws that are meant to save lives populist?” Yogev told the Plenum earlier this month.

Three Israelis have been killed in the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism in Judea and Samaria. The victims are two soldiers and a four-day-old baby who was prematurely born after his mother was shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting attack carried out by Palestinian terrorists.

“From my experience, when such measures are carried out in time and in a comprehensive, speedy and efficient manner, they cause the fathers and mothers of terrorists to turn their children in for fear that their home will be destroyed and that they will be harmed,” said Yogev, a former senior IDF officer, adding that professional elements have said such tools are “efficient and can help prevent the next murder.”

During Wednesday’s debate in the plenum, Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) spoke on behalf of the government, saying, “We are in the midst of a difficult and ongoing battle against terror, and if in the past we dealt mostly with organized terror and planned operations, terror is taking on various shapes, with the main manifestation of this being what’s referred to as lone wolf terror.”

‘Legal chains are repeatedly placed on us’

Levin argued that the terrorist’s surroundings have a “dramatic and continuous” effect. “There is no doubt that if we will succeed in rooting out this influence, or at least decrease it, we will be directly creating a reduction in these acts of terror.”

Addressing claims that the bill is unconstitutional and will be rejected by the High Court of Justice, Levin said “legal chains are repeatedly placed on us, to the point where people who support terrorists and encourage them are sitting in this Knesset and are being funded by the taxpayers’ money. This is our legal system.”

MK Shelly Yachimovich (Zionist Union) expressed her objection to the proposal. “All of the security branches are saying these laws should not be passed. The attorney-general says these laws are unconstitutional and violate international law and that The Hague [International Court of Justice] may be activated against us.”

MKs Jamal Zahalka, Ahmad Tibi and Masud Ganaim of the Joint Arab List were removed from the plenum after exhibiting unbecoming behavior and being called to order three times.