Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Ahead of a Knesset panel vote on Sunday that would greatly alter Israel's policy of releasing terrorists, MK Ayelet Shaked, who proposed the bill, said that the new law would not discriminate based on religion or nationality.
"The proposed bill doesn't make any distinction between Jews and Muslims," MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) told Israel Radio. "Just as Arab murderers wouldn't receive a pardon, neither would Yigal Amir [Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's Jewish assassin]."
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation was set to vote on the bill seeking to allow courts to sentence murderers to life in prison without parole.
The proposed legislation aims to allow the courts to use the heavy sentence, which blocks the president’s ability to pardon criminals in special cases like terrorist attacks, murder with nationalist motivations, or murder of children.
Shaked added that only a judge would have the power to allow the president to pardon convicted criminals.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said that the bill was designed to stop Israel's policy of releasing terrorists, in an interview with Israel Radio Sunday morning.
He added that such a law would reduce the motivation to kidnap soldiers to be used for bargaining purposes.
On Saturday, Bennett pledged "to put an end" to freeing murderous terrorists in future peace talks.
"For the last thirty years Israeli governments have been releasing murderous terrorists. Sometimes in exchange for something. Sometimes in exchange for nothing," Bennett said on Facebook late Saturday.
The Bayit Yehudi leader vowed to forge ahead with his opposition to Israel's release of Palestinian terrorists.
"We will continue to do the right thing: Killer terrorists will never see the light of day," Bennett charged.
"The time has come to put an end to this," he said.
The bill was proposed by Shaked and MK David Tsur (Hatnua) and co-sponsored by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), MKs Robert Ilatov (Likud Beytenu), Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi), Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi), Motti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and Yisrael Hasson (Kadima).