According to Hebrew-language news sites, Benjamin Netanyahu gave the green light on Sunday to members of his Likud political party to support the law on the execution of Palestinian prisoners, a law introduced in 2017 by the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which is headed by the Israeli defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman.
At the time, Lieberman said that the bill would be a powerful deterrent to Palestinians, "We must not allow terrorists to know that after a murder they have committed, they will sit in prison, enjoy the conditions and may be released in the future."
Although Israel currently has a law allowing the death penalty, it has not been carried out since 1962.
However, the current law allows Israeli military courts to only hand down the death penalty if a panel of three judges impose a unanimous decision.
The proposed bill would remove this condition which would allow both Israeli civilian and military courts to carry out executions against Palestinians convicted of murder. In addition, it would require military courts to carry out executions by a majority of two judges instead of full consensus by all judges.
Many Palestinian politicians and human rights activists have already denounced the bill and expressed concern that it will give Israel "legal cover to target Palestinians," and argued that although it does not define a specific group, it is “intended mainly for the Palestinian people."
The controversial bill had previously passed its preliminary vote in January with 52 votes in favor and 49 opposing.
According to prisoners rights group Addameer, currently there are 5,640 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, of whom 465 are in administrative detention, 53 are female prisoners, 270 are child prisoners, and 50 are under the age of 16.
Source: Maan News Agency