Israeli lawmakers pass bill to keep terrorists in prison

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Knesset passed a law that would prevent prisoners from being released in swaps or for other diplomatic reasons.

The law, which passed its final readings Monday, would allow murderers to be sentenced to at least 40 years, without parole, preventing the release of terrorists or murderers, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The law  prevents the president from using his power to pardon criminals in cases such as terrorist attacks, nationalistic murderers and the killing of a child. A judge would have to approve such pardons.

It does not apply to current prisoners, only for future court rulings.

“This is the beginning of a return to Israeli security policy sanity on the topic of releasing terrorists,” Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, said in a Facebook post.

“For years, we were told there is nothing you can do; Israel releases terrorists, just the way that it is. No more. It is over,” he wrote.

Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party sponsored the bill.