lieberman at desk 298.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
MK Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu) announced on Wednesday that he intended to propose a bill in the Knesset, whereby terrorists would be sentenced to the death penalty.
Lieberman rationalized the suggestion with knowledge that apprehended terrorists continue to be closely involved in the planning of terrorist activities even while in Israeli custody.
He also expressed concern that they would be released in a future deal with the Palestinians, possibly involving exchanges of prisoners with soldiers or civilians who may be abducted by terrorists for precisely that purpose. He said that Hamas was expected to apply strong pressure on Israel to release prisoners.
Palmah Ze'evi, whose father, former tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi was assassinated by Palestinian terrorists in 2001, backed the suggestion, saying that Israel must present a tough deterrent against terrorists. He suggested that targeted assassinations were only the beginning of the war against terror. A would-be terrorist would reconsider his plans if he knew that the IDF would destroy the homes of everyone in his clan, Ze'evi asserted.
In an Israel Radio interview, he said that the State couldn't tolerate such an assault against a symbol of its sovereignty, since that is essentially a violation of Israel's autonomy.
Ze'evi said that the courts need not discuss the executions' legality, since not everything is under jurisdiction when we are at war.
Hamas reportedly intended to release Rehavam Ze'evi's killers.
Former justice minister Yosef "Tommy" Lapid (Shinui) called the suggestion "ridiculous." He noted that, with the exception of the United States, the entire civilized world banned the death penalty. Besides, he added, the terrorists caught were people who intended to commit suicide anyway.
With the practice of targeted assassinations of dangerous wanted terrorists, according to Lapid, Israel was already sentencing terrorists to death. He noted that there have been terrorists who were sentenced to death in military courts, but have been pardoned in order to preserve the uniqueness of Israel's single execution of Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962.
Lapid said that Israel currently manages its war on terror properly.
In the same interview to Israel Radio, Lapid also expressed his fears that an imminent execution may drive Palestinian terrorists to kidnap Israelis to serve as hostages in order to force a prisoner exchange.