David Rotem 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation effectively put on hold Sunday a decision on a law that would suspend National Insurance Institute (NII) payments made by Israel to terrorists and their families.
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The bill, sponsored by MKs Robert Ilatov (Israel Beiteinu) and David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu) would have denied NII payments to any individual convicted of a terror activity against the State of Israel, or payments to their families.
The bill would have also denied certain pension payments to the convicted individual, but the MKs emphasized that the bill would not deny any NII payments whose suspension would harm children or minors.
The Interior Minister would have been empowered to make the decision regarding the stripping of the benefits, but those who stood to be harmed by the stripping of payments would have had the right to attempt to prove that they were not involved in terror activities.
Ilatov and Rotem argued that there had been a number of instances in
which Israeli citizens were involved in terror activities against fellow
citizens. That same Israeli citizenship, the bill’s sponsors
complained, guaranteed that their families would continue to enjoy NII
benefits, including those stemming from the death or injury of the
But the Ministerial Committee on Legislation declined to vote on the
popular legislation, instead referring it to a ministerial committee
chaired by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.
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Neeman’s ministry is working on what it described to MKs as a
“wide-reaching law” to encompass all of the benefits that could be
denied citizens who have been found guilty of participating in terror
A series of bills all designed to withhold financial benefits funded by
the state from terrorists with Israeli citizenship have passed their
preliminary readings in the previous two governments. But four such
bills, all presented in the previous Knesset following a series of 2008
terror attacks carried out by Israeli citizens, failed to advance past
their preliminary readings before the government went to early
With the convening of the Knesset following the elections, another round
of private members’ bills sought to cover the same ground.
One such law, sponsored by MK Danny Danon (Likud), which would deny
terrorists state subsidies for burial expenses, passed the ministerial
committee in 2009, but has since been stalled. Danon said that his law
was passed on the condition that he work together with the Justice
Ministry – but that the ministry has continuously raised obstacles to
the bill’s passage.
Danon complained that although he had seen a draft copy of the Justice
Ministry’s planned legislation, it was still being debated and “it could
take even a few years” before the legislation reaches a vote.
In the mean time, Danon is advancing his bill – and it will be brought
up for a hearing in the Knesset Law Committee, which is chaired by none
other than Rotem, one week from Monday
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