Knesset committee rejects burial subsidies for terrorists

Dwayat mom 224 ap (photo credit: AP)
Dwayat mom 224 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee approved Monday by a vote of four to one a bill proposed by Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar that would give the minister of welfare and social services the authority to cancel state-subsidized burial funds for terrorists. Currently, Israeli residents who carry out terror acts and are killed in the process are still legally entitled to funeral subsidies granted by the National Insurance Institute. "A normal country cannot subsidize the burial of people who murder its citizens," said Sa'ar Monday. The bill will now be sent to the Knesset floor for its first reading. Also Monday, the Interior Committee approved a bill proposed by Likud MK Gilad Erdan giving the courts the authority to cancel the citizenship of a citizen or permanent resident who was involved in a terror attack or holds membership in a terror organization. It would include citizens who acquired secondary citizenship in a series of enemy states, including Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. The law would also enable the Interior Ministry to invalidate citizenship without a court's approval, but for very specific circumstances. The Interior Minister would be authorized to act in the case of a person who acquired citizenship less than two years earlier and under false pretenses. UAL faction chairman MK Taleb a-Sanaa slammed the bill, arguing that it was "illegal legislation that gives judicial authority to a ministry and turns political ideologies into crimes." A-Sanna added that the "populist legislation of the Right is endangering democracy." MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) who also opposed the bill, complained that such legislation would not really deter a potential terrorist who was already ideologically opposed to Israel. But Interior Committee Chairman MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor) argued that the law was actually a step in the right direction. "This is a law that would pass on the authority from a political body to a judicial one. A law that the Shin Bet opposed on one side and Hadash opposed on the other seems like a good law," said Paz-Pines.