Israel mulls deporting families of Palestinian terrorists from West Bank to Gaza

The government is also considering demolishing the homes of Israeli-Arab terrorists, a move until now applied only in the West Bank.

 Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza on September 3, 2015. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza on September 3, 2015.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday instructed the government to examine the option of demolishing the homes of Arab-Israeli terrorists and deporting their families from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.

During a meeting of the security cabinet on Sunday, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar recommended demolishing the homes of terrorists and deporting their families as methods to combat the recent wave of terrorism, which has claimed 19 lives since April, Army Radio reported.

The two options are legally complicated, and members of the security establishment have expressed opposition to the recommendations.

More options to handle the wave of terrorism need to be considered, Bennett told the security cabinet.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday told Army Radio there was no doubt his party supports deporting Palestinians and demolishing homes within the Green Line.

NEW HOPE leader Gideon Sa'ar, August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)NEW HOPE leader Gideon Sa'ar, August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

“In our eyes, they need to be deported,” he said. “I still remember when we deported people to Lebanon. I don’t know if it’s realistic. There needs to also be a vision. Not everything is legislation.”

Bills to deport the families of Palestinian terrorists have been considered several times in recent years, but they have not been approved. A bill that was proposed in 2018 by the Bayit Yehudi Party, which was then led by Bennett, passed a preliminary reading but failed to progress further when elections were called shortly thereafter.

Former attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit expressed opposition to attempts to pass such bills, warning that they harmed civilians who did not pose a security risk.

Last December, Likud proposed a bill on the matter, but it failed to pass when Yamina and New Hope opposed it.

In 1992, more than 400 Palestinians were deported to southern Lebanon for at least a year after several members of the security forces were killed by Palestinians.