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Diplomacy & Politics
LAHAV HARKOV \
Protest against Palestinian prisoner release Jerusalem.
(photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Likud Beytenu MKs, prepared for the possibility that Israeli citizens will be included in the next prisoner release, are submitting bills to deny terrorists National Insurance Institute allotments.“This bill is meant to stop the absurd situation in which a person enjoys benefits from the country he harmed,” MK David Rotem (Likud Beytenu) said on Wednesday.Rotem and coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) proposed almost identical bills to take away NII pensions and unemployment payments from terrorists freed in a prisoner release deal.The bills would not allow terrorists to receive funds from the NII during the duration of their original sentence, which, in many cases, is for life.Terrorists can receive NII allowances like any other citizen or permanent resident, but they do not receive disability compensation if they are wounded while committing an act of terrorism, Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) explained in response to a parliamentary question from MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi).“I, too, think that whoever took part in terrorism against the State of Israel does not deserve any government support, including guaranteed income,” Cohen said in the plenum, adding that he will support a bill changing the policy.“First we free murdering terrorists for no reason, then the courts defend citizens of foreign countries instead of citizens of the State of Israel and its character, and the icing on the cake is that we give unemployment payments to released terrorists. What’s next?” Shaked wondered.Levin said in response to Cohen that the current situation is “total insanity.”“We need to put an end to this absurdity,” he declared.Rotem proposed a bill to the same effect as his new one in 2011, but it was softened in Knesset committees to only halve terrorists’ NII benefits, due to concerns the High Court of Justice might strike down a full ban. The bill became law in 2012.
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