C'tee approves halving released terrorists' benefits

Bill to cut National Insurance stipends for criminals of terror-related crimes passes first reading in Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health C'tee.

February 20, 2012 15:17
1 minute read.
The Knesset

The Knesset 390 (R). (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

Criminals convicted of terror-related crimes will only receive half of their National Insurance stipend upon their release from prison, according to a bill authorized for its first plenum reading in the Knesset Labor Committee on Monday.

The legislation, proposed by Israel Beiteinu MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov, would cut National Insurance benefits by 50 percent for Israeli citizens involved in terrorism and were sentenced to spend at least 10 years in prison.

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Rotem explained that he had to agree to compromises, because of legal issues, but he had originally wanted to completely cancel all National Insurance benefits from anyone who was convicted of terrorism.

“The advisers in government ministries apparently do not really understand that I want to defend the citizens of Israel, and when we want to hurt terrorists, they say there are ‘constitutional difficulties,’” Rotem quipped.

According to the Israel Beiteinu MK, the current version of the bill is “better than nothing.”

Justice Ministry representative Shai Someh said that using pension funds as a punishment brings up legal problems, as does continuing punishment after a prison sentence.

However, the Justice Ministry accepts the current text of the bill, he said.

Katz and Rotem, the only MKs in the meeting, voted to approve the bill for its first reading in the plenum. Should it pass the reading, the legislation will be brought back to the committee for changes, and then undergo two more plenum votes.

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