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Israeli lawmakers to vote on broad anti-terror bill

Palestinian women look at the damage to a home in the West Bank village of Duma on August 4, 2015, after it was set on fire by suspected Jewish extremists killing 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha
Menahem Kahana (AFP/File)
Government pushing through law that would provide tools to fight Jewish and Arab terror

Israeli lawmakers are meeting in special session Wednesday to vote on a broad anti-terrorism bill that would provide security agencies with additional tools to counter Jewish terror activity.

The bill combines various pieces of legislation adopted over the years, and repeals some that are no longer relevant - including legislation carried over from emergency laws imposed by the British rulers of Palestine in pre-state days.

The government has been trying to push the legislation through the Knesset for several years, but has come up against various hurdles. The impetus for trying to push it through now - despite the fact that the Knesset is in recess util next month - stems from the July 31 arson attack on a Palestinian family in the West Bank village of Duma. The attack, in which a toddler and his father were burned to death, was a watershed in the government's handling of hate crimes by Jews against Arabs, prompting a crackdown on suspects.

According to the daily Haaretz, the bill is expected to pass in first reading given that the four-party ruling coalition has given its approval.

But angry opposition lawmakers said they still hadn’t decided how they would vote, because they only received the 100-page proposed bill on Monday and hadn’t had time to study it. The main opposition party, the Zionist Union, is expected to back the bill.

“How could we explain to the public that we voted against a comprehensive, updated bill whose purpose is fighting terror?” one Knesset member told Haaretz.

He also noted that during the last Knesset, the bill was pushed by then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, today Zionist Union’s second in command.

The left-wing Meretz party, is expected to oppose the legislation, with party chairwoman Zehava Galon having termed some of its provisions “totalitarian”. One controversial provision to which Meretz and the Joint Arab List are opposed would allow any Palestinian charity affiliated with Hamas to be listed as a terrorist organization.

Once approved in a first reading, the legislation would then go to committee to prepare it for final approval in second and third readings.

Comments

(2)
ludwigvb

" legislation carried over from emergency laws imposed by the British rulers of Palestine in pre-state days." The Geneva Conventions of 1949 'post' that period may prohibit some of the planned laws. Laws are all very good ... it's the even-handedness of their application that will count. Will these laws apply in Israel? ...... in the West Bank?

Well that's what this draft legislation is trying to achieve!

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