Jewish Home bill seeks to forcibly relocate terrorists’ relatives in West Bank
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Jewish Home bill seeks to forcibly relocate terrorists’ relatives in West Bank

Ministers to debate proposed legislation on Sunday, two years after attorney general nixed deportations to Gaza

Illustrative: An Israeli soldier arresting a suspect after a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 18, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)
Illustrative: An Israeli soldier arresting a suspect after a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 18, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

The right-wing Jewish Home party on Sunday will seek coalition support for a bill to forcibly relocate the families of Palestinian terrorists and would-be attackers within the West Bank.

According to the proposed legislation by Education Minister Nafatli Bennett and MK Moti Yogev, within a week of an attack or attempted attack, the IDF’s Central Command will be permitted to expel the relatives of the Palestinian assailants from their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank.

The powerful Ministerial Committee for Legislation will convene on Sunday to decide whether to advance the bill with the government’s backing.

“Palestinian terrorism must be stopped,” said Bennett in a statement. “In the present reality, participating in terror attacks against Jews has become beneficial to Palestinians and their families; they come to murder and earn benefits and financial grants.” He was referring to stipends by the PA to the families of Palestinian prisoners and terrorists.

“The Palestinian terrorist must understand that violence doesn’t pay and the State of Israel will settle the score,” said Bennett. “Deporting the families to another area will improve deterrence and send the message to the Palestinian public: There is zero tolerance for terrorism.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks during a press conference at the Ministry of Education in Tel Aviv, July 11, 2018. (Flash90)

The explanatory text accompanying the bill touted Israel’s deterrence as “the cornerstone of Israeli security and a way to save lives and uphold law and order.”

“The step requested in this bill has proven to be a deterrent, will minimize the next attacks and will, therefore, save lives,” it said.

The proposed legislation comes after years in which the government sought to advance a bill to expel terrorists’ families to the Gaza Strip. Supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the proposal in 2016 received wide support within the coalition, including from Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon, as well as from the opposition’s Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid.

However Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said the move would contravene Israeli and international law, and efforts to advance the legislation were subsequently dropped.

A number of other measures used by Israel as deterrent measures, such as home demolitions, closing off hometowns of attackers, and revoking work permits, have been criticized as a form of collective punishment. Israel says the measures are necessary as disincentives to terrorism.

In a recent legal opinion, the attorney general said last Wednesday the government cannot order the demolition of homes belonging to terrorists whose may have carried out attacks because of psychological disorders.

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