The Attorney General’s Office warns that its approval would imply an illegal imposition of Israeli national law in the West Bank
26 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Israel’s Legislative Ministerial Committee managed to advance before the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, a bill that would enable the country’s courts to declare the death penalty for certain cases of terrorism, in return for a punishment that has disappeared ‘from facto’ in the country since 2008.
The great promoter of this project, the Minister of National Security and leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudi, Itamar Ben Gvir, has celebrated this preliminary advance, known just after a Palestinian attack in the West Bank that has left at least two settlers dead.
“On this very difficult day, in which two Israeli citizens have died in a Palestinian terrorist attack, there is nothing more symbolic than approving the momentum of a bill that stipulates the death penalty for terrorists,” he said in statements collected by the ‘Times of Israel’.
According to the first investigations by the military into the attack in the West Bank, at least one Palestinian opened fire at point-blank range at the height of Route 60 that crosses the city of Huwara against the vehicle in which both civilians, about 20 years of age and residents in the nearby settlement of Har Bracha.
Shortly after, the spokesman for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Hazem Qasam, described the attack as “a natural reaction to the crimes of the Israeli occupation”, according to a statement collected by the Israeli newspaper ‘Jerusalem Post’.
The Israeli Attorney General’s Office had already warned in previous days that it intends to do everything possible to block the progress of the legislation, presented by the Otzma Yehudi deputy in the committee, Limor Son Har-Melech, and about which he has expressed serious doubts about its legality.
This law, in broad strokes, describes as a terrorist anyone who “intentionally or through indifference causes the death of an Israeli citizen when the act is carried out for a racist motive or hatred of a specific public, and with the purpose of harming to the State of Israel and the rebirth of the Jewish people in their homeland”.
In addition, if such a crime is committed in the West Bank, this punishment will be applied in military courts even if the ruling is not unanimous, and the punishment cannot be lightened after it is finalized in a regional court, according to the approach. of the law collected by the ‘Jerusalem Post’.
This last point worries the Prosecutor’s Office because the Israeli Parliament does not have any type of sovereignty over the West Bank — the highest Israeli authority there is the Army –. The approval of this legislation would imply that the Government of Israel is imposing its national law in the West Bank, which would mean, for all intents and purposes, a violation of the fundamental bases of all the agreements signed with the Palestinians.
Despite all this, the law will be presented next Wednesday before Parliament to receive preliminary approval, but it must then be submitted to debate within the National Security cabinet before a first reading of the law in plenary session. the Knesset.
This approval also comes on a day when Palestinian, Israeli, American and Egyptian security officials meet in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, with the aim of reducing tension in the Middle East after months of escalation over Israeli operations in the West Bank and Palestinian attacks in and around Jerusalem.