The Ministerial Legislative Committee gave its preliminary approval late Sunday night to bill to deport the families of Palestinian terrorists, after right-wing politicians warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against derailing it for a fourth time.
“This is an important step in restoring deterrence,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who had advocated for the bill along with the MK Motti Yogev.
“Participation in terror attacks has become a lucrative business, and [the courts] have paralyzed the defense establishment and kept it from acting. I am glad that we decided to pass the bill, despite the vigorous opposition of the lawyers surrounding Netanyahu,” Bennett said.
The legislation, which now needs Knesset approval, allows for members of a terrorist family to be forcibly evacuated from their home community within seven days of an attack or attempted attack. According to the IDF, they will be forced to relocate to another area of the West Bank.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandeblit has said that the forced relocation of terrorist family members is illegal under Israel and international law. The Ministerial Committee had intended to meet earlier in the day on the legislation, but it was diverted to the security cabinet.
The ministerial committee then reconvened late at night to approve the legislation.
Yogev said he was glad that the ministers had chosen to reject Mandeblit’s “immoral position.”
Earlier in the day Bennett along with other right-wing ministers attended a rally Sunday morning organized by the YESHA Council demanding stiff measures to combat terrorist attacks, including the exile legislation.
Bennett stood at the rally and promised: “Today, we are bringing a law to exile the families of terrorist to a vote. Until now, the prime minister and the defense minister [Netanyahu] has asked that it be delayed three times: This time we won’t agree,” he said.
MK Oren Hazan (Likud) warned the government that it held only 61 seats and that he and other politicians were willing to withhold votes on the government’s agenda if Netanyahu failed to meet their demands.
“We’re not willing to wage a price war in blood with our enemies,” Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said.
He was one of at least a dozen speakers who spoke on a makeshift stage that had been set up opposite Netanyahu’s office prior to the government’s weekly meeting. They demanded increased security and stern action against terrorism, including the exile bill.
“We will get to every terrorist,” Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant (Kulanu) told the crowd. “He will end his life either in prison or in the grave,” he added.
Other ministers who spoke at the rally included Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), and Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunin (Likud).
“The terror group from Ramallah must understand that [violence] does not pay. Turn their lives into hell,” Ne’eman said. “They shouldn’t have money for candy,” he said.
"We demand victory. The application of sovereignty is what we demand: Transform Judea and Samaria into a sovereign part of the State of Israel, so that all talk of another [Palestinian] state will become irrelevant,” Ne’eman said.
“We will achieve victory through the settlements and beating the enemy mercilessly,” Ne'eman added.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan demanded that Netanyahu take action against the Palestinian Authority and build in the settlements without any concern for whether he has the approval of the United States.
“We are not the Banana Republic of the United States,” Dagan said, as he called on Netanyahu to build three new settlements named for three of the victims of terror attacks in the past week.
Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said: “Last week, the last candle of Hanukkah, we lit candles at the Ofra junction and 10 minutes after we lit the flame, a burst of gunfire cut off the joy. Since then, we have met with the prime minister and discussed how terrorism must be handled.
“To look for murderers is not enough. We have to deal with those who send them,” he said.
“We demand change,” Ganz continued. “In order to deal with terrorism, we demand that you launch a defense operation and crush the terrorist infrastructure. Return the checkpoints so residents will be able to travel safely.”
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee visited the Binyamin Region on Sunday afternoon to see the area where terror attacks had taken place on December 9 and 13.
Last Sunday, a Palestinian gunman injured seven people at a bus stop outside of the Ofra settlement, causing one of the victims to give birth prematurely to a baby boy who died three days later
In the second attack outside the Givat Assaf outpost
last Thursday, a Palestinian gunman killed two soldiers and injured a third soldier and a civilian.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>