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IDF decides against death penalty for terrorist in Halamish stabbing

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara meeting with families of three Israelis killed in a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish, July 27 2017.
Amos Ben Gershom/PMO
The death penalty is legal in Israel only under certain circumstances but has been used only once before

Despite calls from several Israeli ministers to impose the death penalty on the terrorist who fatally stabbed three members of an Israeli family in the Halamish settlement, the Israel Defense Forces’ Military Advocate General Brig. Gen.  Sharon Afek  has ruled against the request.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself expressed support for applying the death penalty in the case of the attacker, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed,  just days earlier.

It's time we start giving death sentences to terrorists," the Israeli premier told the mourning family, according to Ynet News.

Al-Abed, from the nearby village of Kaubar, broke into the family's home during a Shabbat dinner and brutally stabbed a grandfather and his two adult children to death --Yosef Salomon, 70, Chaya Salomon, 46, and Elad Salomon, 36 -- while the young grandchildren were hidden in a room by their mother, Elad's wife.

Tova Salomon, 68, the wife and mother of the deceased, was seriously injured but survived.

"It's enshrined in law, it requires a unanimous decision by the judges, but they also want to know the government's position. And my position as the prime minister, in this instance of such a heinous murderer—he needs to be executed,” stated Netanyahu latst week. “We need to wipe the smile off his face."

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett all called on the military courts to demand the death penalty as well.

“In such an extreme case, there is indeed room to impose the death penalty and that is within the jurisdiction of the Judea and Samaria military courts,” Lieberman told Israel’s Ynet News last month.

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Shaked of the right-wing Jewish Home party wrote via Twitter that “the murderers of children and families deserve the death penalty. Such a punishment exists in the military court with a unanimous decision by the judges. This is an incident that demands the death penalty for the murderer.”

Jewish Home party leader, Naftali Bennett, also expressed his support of the death penalty in the case on Twitter, noting that in the military court, “it is possible.”

According to Ynet News, Afek’s bureau chief, Maj. Eli Levertov responded to additional calls from attorney Yossi Fox to impose the sentence last week, telling him: “The military prosecutor works day and night to bring justice to terrorists who have harmed or attempted to harm the state’s citizens. The policy of law enforcement agencies in Israel is not to demand the death penalty, even when the right to do so is enshrined in law. This policy has been examined throughout the years … and has remained unchanged.”

Fox subsequently responded that it was “inconceivable that the general policy of punishment for terrorists at the height of the wave of terror is determined by the military advocate general contrary to the position of the prime minister and the other cabinet ministers.”

The death penalty is legal in Israel only under certain circumstances and has been used only once before in the case of  Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, one of the architects of the Final Solution, in 1962.

Israel’s military court has statutes in place for the death penalty in such cases according to Intelligence Minister Israel Katz.

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Shalom Cohen

Bring back the death penalty for terrorists.

Shalom Cohen

Bring back the death penalty for terrorists.

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