Bill to Imprison Terrorists Under 14 Passes Committee

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel has moved forward on one of the measures for a tougher counter-terror program — prison sentences for minors under age 14 for murder or manslaughter was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked proposed a change in the law after 12- and 13-year-old Palestinian cousins stabbed a Yerushalayim Light Rail security guard in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood last November.

Shaked says the bill “gives minors the special protection they need, while giving a serious response to terrorists who think that hands of the courts and justice will not reach them.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud), who has a PhD in Criminology, specializing in Palestinian terrorism, who proposed a similar bill last year, explains that the new law, if passed, would remove the incentive for terrorist violence among minors.

“My research shows clearly,” Berko said, “that the central motive for acts of terrorism by minors is that they are prompted to do so by those older than them, who tell them Israel won’t put them in jail and will send them home in a short time.

“This distortion will come to an end soon,” Berko predicted.

The bill will be sent to the Knesset plenum for debate and preliminary voting.