Israel FM Calls for Death Penalty for Palestinian Crimes “Against Israel”

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Published Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for the death penalty for Palestinian who are involved in attacks against Israeli Occupation Forces and Zionist settlers, Anadolu news agency and The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.

“We have to signal that we’re changing direction. No more deals [to release prisoners]. Rather, the opposite: The first law that we will propose in the next Knesset will be the death penalty for terrorists. We must not give them hope,” he said at a Tel Aviv conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies, an Israeli NGO.

Lieberman, leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, said his party would sponsor a bill before the Knesset sanctioning the death penalty for Palestinians convicted of staging attacks “against Israel.”

“We created hope for terrorist organizations, all the terrorists who fight against Israel. Instead of building an iron wall and telling them they have no chance [because] we will fight, we constantly create and strengthen their hope,” he said.

Israeli courts have previously meted out life sentences — not death penalties — against Palestinians convicted of killing Israelis.

According to The Times of Israel/a>, capital punishment exists in Israel but it hasn’t been implemented since the execution of Nazi SS official Adolf Eichman in 1962.

Right-wing politicians have indicated support in principle for the death penalty for “terrorists,” but a law that would establish a minimum punishment for a crime as loosely defined as “terrorism” would likely be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.

The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous Balfour Declaration, called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

In 1948, with the end of the mandate, a new state — Israel — was declared inside historical Palestine.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state — a move never recognized by the international community.

Since September 2000, when the Second Intifada began, at least 9,100 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, including 2,053 Palestinian children, the equivalent of one Palestinian child being killed every three days for the past 14 years.

(Anadolu, Al-Akhbar)


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