'Dromi Law' passes final reading in Knesset plenum

The Knesset plenum on Tuesday approved in the final reading an amendment to the Penal Law aimed at giving property owners more freedom to use drastic measures against intruders who break into their homes, businesses or farms. The bill passed with a majority of 44 votes against seven. The law is known as the 'Dromi Law' after the Negev farmer who on January 13, 2007 opened fire at Beduins who broke into his farm to steal sheep, and killed one of them, Khaled el-Atrash. Dromi was arrested and charged with manslaughter. According to the law, 'no person shall bear criminal responsibility for an act that was immediately necessary in order to repel someone who breaks into or enters a home, business or fenced-off farm belonging to him or another person, with the intent of committing a crime, or someone who attempts to break into or enter the above.' It defines a farm as including not only the home and courtyard, but also pasture land and the area where farm vehicles and equipment are stored. However, the amendment adds that 'the provision will not apply if the act [perpetrated by the property owners] was manifestly unreasonable under the circumstances in order to repel the intruder or enterer.'