The ministerial committee is set to vote today on legislation that would strip benefits from convicted terrorists who hold Israeli citizenship. According to The Jerusalem Post, benefits would be revoked to any terrorist who leaves prison early.
Likud MK Yariv Levin, who sponsored the legislation, said that “We [Israel] should not tolerate the absurd situation in which terrorists who are released before their sentence is completed receive benefits from the state. This includes terrorists set free in deals and diplomatic agreements.”
The benefits this new legislation would remove include unemployment and other stipends from the National Insurance Institute.
The new legislation comes at a fragile time during peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. In the upcoming months, Israel is expected to release terrorists from prison as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority towards peace. Should the bill pass, those released with citizenship would not receive any kind of governmental support from Israel, regardless of their Israeli citizenship.
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat recently told the Voice of Palestine radio show that the PA would not ever recognize Israel as a Jewish State. Recognition by the PA has always been a “red-line” negotiation point for the Israelis. According to sources on all side, peace talks have come to a standstill while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his team attempt to negotiate a peace framework separately with the Israelis and Palestinians.
Editor’s Update: This bill was approved by the Knesset.