The Knesset passed a bill cutting National Insurance Institute payments to prisoners freed in diplomatic negotiations in its second and third (final) readings Monday.
According to the law proposed by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) and Yisrael Beytenu MKs Robert Ilatov and David Rotem, a prisoner who was sentenced to over 10 years in jail for nationalist crimes, and who is freed before finishing his or her sentence, will not get financial benefits such as unemployment, a pension or work-injury compensation, until the date on which he was originally supposed to leave prison.
The law passed with 34 MKs in favor and 10 opposed.
“We just put an end to one of the most shameful scandals in Israeli law by blocking the pipeline through which Israeli citizens’ money flowed to the pockets of evil terrorists,” Levin said.
Ilatov said the law puts a major injustice to an end, that the government not only frees terrorists but gives them a gift on the way out of prison.
Levin explained: “This law will bring an end to the absurd situation in which prisoners who were convicted of serious crimes and freed in a prisoner release deal get a check for allowances and credits that they would not be able to get if they remained in prison.”
MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash) spoke out against the law, saying it is vengeful and meant to promote the Right’s ideological interests.
“Rights to National Insurance benefits come from being a citizen and there are some things the right-wing government should not touch. This is another law that punishes people outside of court,” Barakei stated.