MKs from all coalition parties and some in the opposition signed a bill that would deport terrorists’ family members to Gaza, which Knesset House Committee David Bitan (Likud) submitted Wednesday.
The idea for the bill came from Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz, after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said last week that expelling Palestinian terrorists’ families from the West Bank to Gaza violates Israeli and international law and could play into the hands of those seeking to have Israel tried for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.
Katz said the bill is “a firstrate act of deterrence,” and called on the Attorney-General’s Office to cooperate and allow it to pass into law quickly.
“Everyone must understand that we are at the height of a war against ISISstyle terrorist attacks by radical Islam,” Katz stated. “This is terrorism by individuals, about which we do not have additional intelligence, and therefore, we need to take additional deterrent and preventative steps.”
According to Katz, support from coalition parties as well as Yisrael Beytenu and Yesh Atid, including party leader MK Yair Lapid, shows how necessary the bill is and that it has broad public support, giving it a good chance of passing.
Bitan pointed out that two former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chiefs – MK Avi Dichter (Likud) and MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) – support the bill, indicating its great potential, and said it could be the factor that ends the ongoing wave of terrorism.
The bill states that family members of a terrorist who helped commit the act of terrorism or who knew about it in advance could lose their permanent residence status if they are residents of sovereign Israel, including east Jerusalem, or be deported from the West Bank.