New law protects Israeli terror victims from freed terrorists

Officials emphasized that the purpose of the law was not to punish the terrorists, but to protect their victims.


The Knesset plenum on Monday passed a law effectively banning released Palestinian terrorists from returning to the scene of their attacks or being in the vicinity of their victims.

The bill states that victims and their families have the right to petition the court either prior to the terrorist’s release from prison or within six months of their release that they be forbidden to reside, work or study near the victim or their first-degree relatives.

Otzma Yehudit lawmaker Zvika Fogel, head of the Knesset National Security Committee that oversaw the processing of the bill, spoke in the plenum prior to the second vote.

“The reality in which terrorist murderers are released from prison and sometimes go home, right next to where their victims or their family members live—that will not happen. We cannot allow the victims to relive their tragedies a second time,” he said.

Fogel emphasized that the purpose of the law was not to punish the terrorists but to protect their victims.

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“Rather, the tool that we are seeking here is civil protection for those who suffered a crime against them that will enable them to live within their new reality,” he said.

After the bill was passed by a vote of 24-7 with one abstention, MK Limor Son Har-Melech (Otzma Yehudit), who proposed the bill, noted that the legislation was very personal for her.

“I’m blessed for this, my third bill in the war against terror to have been passed into law. The new law discussed distancing terrorists from their [victims’] homes, their schools and their places of work. For me, this is a type of closure, as I lost my dear husband to a terror attack, and now I am passing these important laws and amendments,” she said.

“This is an important statement to our enemies that even if they think that as a result of any terror attack, they can raise a hand against the nation of Israel, and this country, the answer is no. Am Yisrael Chai,” she added.

In August 2003, Har-Melech, seven months pregnant with her second child, was driving with her husband, Shuli, near Ramallah when five Palestinians opened fire on their car with automatic weapons. Her husband was killed instantly and Limor was critically wounded. Her daughter was born prematurely by cesarean section several hours later.

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Members of the opposition who had submitted formal reservations in committee withdrew them before the second vote and voted for the bill in its third reading, with the exception of lawmakers from the Ra’am and Ta’al parties, who voted against.