Gov't okays bill to let police enter homes without warrant

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar's proposal, which would allow police officers to search homes without a court order if they have good reason to, was approved by the cabinet on Sunday.

GIDEON SA'AR arrives at the Knesset ahead of the vote and swearing in of the 36th government, June 13, 2021. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
GIDEON SA'AR arrives at the Knesset ahead of the vote and swearing in of the 36th government, June 13, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The cabinet approved Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s proposal to grant police the authority to search the homes of violent crime suspects without a prior court order.

According to the proposal, police will be able to enter a home to search for evidence in a case deemed a “serious crime.”

Officers will be allowed to search for suspects or for weapons if they have good reason to believe that they are present.

“We are at war, so we need to give the police and local authorities better tools to help them succeed in their mission,” said Sa’ar on Sunday.

The justice minister said he would propose more laws to help fight crime, particularly in the Arab sector, where over 100 Arab Israelis have been murdered by members of their own community since the start of the year.

 Israel's Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar is seen speaking at the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Israel's Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar is seen speaking at the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned his cabinet that “we are losing the country,” but Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg warned against the move, saying that it was rare in a democracy.

Likud MK Shlomo Karhi attacked the proposal from the Right, saying that Sa’ar was trying to trick the public. Karhi said that Sa’ar should ensure that the courts stop allowing criminals to go free.

Also on Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which Sa’ar chairs, rejected a proposal by Karhi to privatize Army Radio.

Karhi said the “government of trickery” was removing right-wingers from the radio station, and then would use it for political propaganda.

“They claim to be statesmanlike, but they’re taking over a military radio station that they themselves said beforehand did not belong in a democracy,” Karhi said.

Sa’ar’s committee also voted against a proposal by former culture minister Miri Regev (Likud) to punish cultural acts deemed anti-Israeli.