Law to execute Palestinian prisoners.. Why is Israel rushing to enforce it? | Policy

Occupied Jerusalem—— National Security Affairs Committee Discussion Bisrael parliamentToday, Monday, the Israeli government, led by Zvika Vogel of the “Jewish Great” party, reintroduced the draft law on the execution of Palestinian prisoners after the “fighting”al aqsa floods“, so that it can be passed on the first reading, and the second and third reading can be expedited and come into effect immediately.

The draft law states that “anyone who intentionally or indifferently causes the death of an Israeli citizen shall be punished if the act is motivated by racism or hostility to the Jewish public and is aimed at harming the State of Israel, its security, and the progress of the Jewish people.” Sentence of death,” noting that this provision is not in the current version.The law has no details on how it will be implemented death penalty.

Megiddo Prison is located in the interior of Palestine, near the city of Umm al-Fahm.
Megiddo Detention Center, one of the Israeli prisons near the city of Umm Al-Fahm (Al Jazeera)

Israel’s motivations for enacting the law

The discussion on the death penalty law for Palestinian prisoners, raised by member of the Jewish Great Council Limor San Khal Mileh, comes at a time when the Islamic Resistance Movement (agitation) 240 prisoners Gaza StripOn October 7 last year, after the Palestinian resistance movement launched an attack on “settlements” in the “Aqsa Flood” battle,Gaza coverand the Israeli towns to the south.

The law returned to prominence during the Gaza War and after Israel’s ground military campaign in the Strip failed to turn up clues about the whereabouts of Israeli prisoners held by the resistance, amid political consensus that it would be inappropriate to do so last year. Those involved in the October 7 incident will be tried within the scope of criminal legal procedures. Regularly and unanimously agree to adopt new mechanisms that are fast and feasible.

The law gained political consensus after being controversial in Israeli politics due to the failure of the “Aqsa Flood” and the secrecy surrounding military oversight of the process and results of the ground fighting in the Gaza Strip.Following the approval of a preliminary reading last March, in an alliance agreement between the “Jewish Greats” headed by the Minister of National Security itama ben gvir There is another party Likud led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Challenges to death penalty laws

Responding to a renewed push by right-wing parties to approve the law, lawyer Fouad Soltani pointed out that Israeli law provides for a prison sentence when a person is convicted of Nazism or anyone who aided them, or collaborated with the enemy. death penalty. During the war, it was emphasized that Israel carried out only one execution, in 1962, when German officer Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to hanging.

Fouad Sutani, an activist on the movement of prisoners within Palestine, explained to Al Jazeera that the Israeli judiciary faces various challenges in trying Palestinian prisoners suspected of involvement and participation in the “Aqsa Flood”. Discuss the idea of ​​establishing its own courts and reinstate the formation of military courts in Israel, which existed until 2000.

He noted that “Israel avoids using the death penalty against Palestinian prisoners because of the many dilemmas and tricky procedures that require the presence of jurists rather than soldiers, as is the case with military trials.” Exists in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, “Explained, estimated”Shin BetShe emphasized to the political and military levels that imposing the death penalty on prisoners would not prevent the escalation of the Palestinian resistance movement.

Lawyer Fouad Soltani
Fouad Soltani: New law may require the creation of a tribunal tasked with pronouncing death sentences within hours (Al Jazeera)

Reason for acceleration

Palestinian human rights activist Fouad Soltani believes that Israel is taking advantage of the Gaza war, the state of emergency, and Israel’s consensus with the Palestinians to legislate a law that speeds up trial procedures and sentences Palestinian prisoners to death without even having to obtain the appropriate The right to represent or present evidence in defense and to deprive them of the possibility of appealing against such penalties.

The law comes under pressure from far-right parties and is aimed at quelling popular anger in Israel amid growing protests calling for the release of detained prisoners and a comprehensive swap deal to free detainees. It is an attempt at the political level to wield the death penalty internally and an external attempt to reach a quid pro quo against Hamas.

Fouad warned that Israeli institutions are continuing to discuss the creation of a special court to try prisoners in the events of October 7 last year, as the death penalty law was drawn up in this context, to which many pieces of legislation, amendments and procedures will be added, This could lead to Israel setting up military tribunals tasked with hearing indictments and pronouncing the death penalty on prisoners within hours.

Consensus and Confusion

From an Israeli perspective, Sifan Hailaei, the parliamentary affairs correspondent of the “Novovovo” website, reported that following the events of October 7 last year, Ben Gvir put pressure on Netanyahu to pass the law as soon as possible, Noting that the law had gained consensus after the Gaza war.

Shivan Helayi pointed out that Israel holds hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who were captured alive after the “Aqsa Flood” fighting, and the Israeli authorities have not initiated any judicial proceedings against them except for investigation by the generals. The security agency “Shin Bet” is suspected of being involved and involved in the incident. October 7 last year.

The parliamentary affairs correspondent explained that similar draft laws proposed in the past have faced many difficulties and legal issues, so if the law is passed in the second and third readings, it is likely to be after multiple revisions of the original text.

The push for the draft law comes as the Israeli judicial system continues to debate whether it is right to impose the death penalty on participants in the October 7 raid last year, given that it was an unprecedented event. According to Justice Correspondent Avi Cohen, the Israeli legal system faces Dilemma.

Cohen noted that Israeli authorities were concerned that imposing the death penalty on Palestinian prisoners from Gaza would endanger the lives of Israeli detainees and attract international criticism, and that the death penalty would hinder the progress of a possible exchange agreement and the influence of the Hamas movement for the release of all hostages held, And it is not impossible that the legislation of this law could become a pressure card that undermines negotiations on exchange agreements.

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