The bill sponsored by MK (Bayit Yehudi) Ayelet Shaked to prevent the release of terrorists in a future prisoner exchange deal was passed into law in Knesset on Monday 10 Marcheshvan. The bill was voted into law with a majority of 35-15.
In the case of a terrorist murder or premeditated criminal murder, a special parole board may not consider an early release until the prisoner has served a minimum of 15 years from the day the prisoner began serving his term. Regarding prisoners serving a life sentence, that sentence may not be commuted to less than 40 years imprisonment.
This new law pertains to convicted murderers from criminal acts as well as terrorism. The law effective prevents the release of convicted terrorists in prisoner exchange deals such as the deal that resulted in the release of Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity in exchange for over 1,000 terrorists. The law specifically states a government will not have the authority to release such prisoners in a deal.
There is still a back door for a presidential pardon is still a possibility for early release.
The law is not retroactive, but stipulates it will apply to those who have yet to be sentenced on the condition the court permits the both sides to plead their case on the matter.
The right-wing praised the law, with some commenting “terrorists can now rot in prison where they belong”. Left-wingers stated it is just another step by the current administration to destroy any hope of reaching a comprehensive peace agreement with the PA (Palestinian Authority).
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)