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Israeli parliament to vote on death penalty for convicted Palestinians

Israel could impose the death penalty on convicted Palestinians [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 December, 2017

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Israel's Knesset will on Wednesday vote on a draft bill to enable capital punishment for Palestinians "involved in operations against Israeli targets", officials said.
Israel's parliament is due to vote on a draft bill which could see the death penalty imposed on Palestinians convicted of being "involved in operations against Israeli targets", the country's defence minister said on Monday.

Avigdor Lieberman told an Israeli TV channel that a vote to advance legislation against "terrorists" attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers would take place on Wednesday, Anadolu reported.

"The US also has such legislation. Thus, it's appropriate for Israel to follow such a powerful democratic system in the world," Lieberman said.

Lieberman said the bill would be a counterweight to convicted Palestinians' hopes that after a spell in jail they could be freed in a political deal or prisoner exchange.

"Every convicted terrorist is used by terrorist organisations kidnapping civilians and soldiers for prisoner swaps," he said.

The draft bill needs to be voted on in three rounds in order to be approved by parliament, and could then risk being struck down by the Supreme Court.

Israel does not have the death penalty, but convicted criminals may face prison sentences of hundreds of years.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said earlier this year that it is time to impose the death penalty on Palestinians that attack Israelis.

"The death penalty for terrorists - it's time to implement it in severe cases," he said in a video posted in July on his Twitter account.

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