Anti-Terror Bill Passes Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Knesset passed into law on Wednesday a bill that provides tougher punishments for those convicted of terrorist activities, including sentences for the most serious offenses.

The law, proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, was approved by a vote of 57 to 16, and updates a series of emergency measures in place since the establishment of the state.

According to the law, those involved directly or indirectly in organizing terror networks could face up to 25 years in prison, while leaders of terror cells would face a mandatory life sentence. Terrorists who use chemical, biological, or radioactive weapons during attacks would also face mandatory life sentences.

The law also mandates that terrorists given life sentences will only become eligible for parole after at least 15 years in jail.

The law targets not only those who carry out terrorist attacks but those who support them, such as in administrative capacities, who could face up to 10 years in prison. Giving financial support to terror groups can result in 9 years in jail, and threatening to commit terror attacks could bring a 7-year sentence.

The law also increases the punishment for voicing support publicly for terror. Public praise of terror attacks or terror organizations could entail a 3-year jail term.

Under the new law, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister will now be able to declare groups terrorist organizations, based upon the recommendation of the Shin Bet security agency and in consultation with the Attorney General.