JERUSALEM — At the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his political allies in the Israeli parliament are preparing a sweeping legislative package designed to deter terror attacks.
The measures are aimed both at preventing assaults against Israeli citizens, like the one that took place last week in a Jerusalem synagogue, leaving five people dead, and at allaying the feelings of insecurity felt by Israelis over the past few months.
The action plan includes new, harsh measures that its sponsors say will get at the root of assaults by Palestinians. The law would allow Arab Israelis found guilty of throwing Molotov cocktails and even firecrackers to be banished to Gaza; would deny families of assailants the right to bury their dead; and would expose anyone who waved a Palestinian flag at a demonstration to loss of their health and social security benefits.
The package was drawn up by Yariv Levin, chairman of the Likud Party faction in the Knesset. Netanyahu is the leader of Likud.
“The bill would apply to everyone,” Levin said — to every Israeli citizen, of any religion, including Jews — and those who hold residency permits, who are mostly the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “But obviously, the main problem is with the Arabs. The families and the leadership support what they have done and talk about them as heroes, they name squares and streets after them, pay salaries to those who carry out attacks.”
More than 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arabs.
The program, whether it passes in whole or part, shows the extent the Israeli government may be willing to go to confront Palestinian attacks in Israel.
Levin’s office provided a summary of the planned legislation. The following is a condensed translation of the Hebrew original:
Eight Steps to Eradicate Terror
1. Anyone convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack or who directly assists in the attack will automatically be stripped of Israeli citizenship or residency rights. After serving their prison sentence, they will be expelled to Gaza or any place not under Israeli control.
2. Anyone found to carry out a terror act, even if they are killed, will have their family home destroyed. The family will have the right to appeal the demolition order but if upheld the order should be carried out within 24 hours after the terrorist attack.
3. The bodies of those who carry out terror attacks will not be returned to their families for burial. The bodies will be buried without a ceremony in a state cemetery and the details will not be passed on to the family.
4. Anyone convicted of throwing Molotov cocktails or fireworks will have their citizenship or residency automatically revoked. Upon completion of their prison term, they will be deported to Gaza or to any place outside of Israeli control.
5. Anyone who incites terror attacks, throws stones during demonstrations or illegal gatherings or waves an enemy flag, including the Palestinian Authority flag, will be immediately arrested and will automatically lose their state health and social security benefits and the right to hold a driver’s license for 10 years.
6. Any family member who expresses support for terrorists or their actions will have their Israeli citizenship or residency rights revoked and will be deported to Gaza or somewhere not under Israeli control. This support could be expressed through the media, social media or with posters of the terrorist or terrorist activity.
7. The police or the civil administration will order the immediate closure of any printing company or business that publishes posters that support the terrorist attack or the terrorist.
8. Employers will be able to turn to the police to determine if an employee or potential employee has been convicted of any security offense.
As in the U.S. Congress, many bills in the Israeli parliament are introduced but fail to pass, or if they become law, courts may later overturn them.