Bill to ban child-killers from prisoner exchanges

Terrorism against children is unforgivable,” bill initiator MK Hasson says; VP Shalom: Trade 2,000 for Schalit – but no murderers.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 20, 2011 01:54
2 minute read.
Hakem and Amjad Awwad

Suspects in Fogel, Itamar massacre_311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The murderers of the Fogel family would never be able to be released from prison, according to a bill proposed this week by MKs from Kadima, Likud and Labor.

The legislation, which was initiated by MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima), would prohibit murderers of children from being included in any prisoner exchanges with the Palestinians and would not permit the president to pardon them.

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Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin and Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel cosponsored the measure, which has strong support in both the coalition and the opposition.

“I think this bill would send the message that although all terrorism is bad, terrorism against children is unforgivable,” Hasson said on Tuesday night. “Perpetrators of such crimes must know that they cannot be included in a prisoner exchange, even in the event of a peace deal.

“This bill would go a long way in strengthening Israel’s deterrence.”

The suspects in the murder of five members of the Fogel family on March 11 have been named as Hakim Maazan Niad Awad, an 18- year-old high-school student, and Amjad Mahmud Fauzi Awad, 19, both from the West Bank village of Awarta, located 2 km. south of the Itamar settlement.

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Hasson’s proposal will be debated when the Knesset returns from its spring recess on May 15.

The Knesset is also expected to consider legislation proposed by several MKs on the Right to enable terrorists to be given the death penalty.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom (Likud) is the highest-ranking politician to come out in favor of executing the Fogel family’s killers.

In an interview with Ma’ariv, Shalom also proposed a new approach to bringing about the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit.

He suggested that instead of accepting Hamas’s demand that Israel release more than 1,000 security prisoners, including hundreds “with blood on their hands,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instead offer to release 2,000 prisoners – but none who have murdered Israelis.

Shalom, who has met with many groups of families of terrorism victims, said he wanted to avoid the families having to see their children’s murderers released from prison.

“If the list of 2,000 prisoners without blood on their hands was published, the families of the prisoners would put so much pressure on Hamas leaders that they would be compelled to accept the deal,” Shalom said. “They would put the same pressure on Hamas that the Schalit family is putting on the government of Israel.”

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