The bill by MK Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu) would change the current law allowing death penalty only in a case of judicial consensus, which was only used against Adolf Eichmann, to one allowing a majority of presiding judges to sentence a terrorist to death.
On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted, at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's prodding, against the proposal and to form a committee that will examine, over the next three months, the possibility of changing the law pertaining to the death penalty.
In the plenum Wednesday, Gal listed the names of the many right-wing ministers and MKs who professed to support the bill before the prime minister came out against it, and called on them to vote according to their conscience and not narrow political interests.
"You are being tested," he said to them. "Give the courts credit that they will know when to use the law, but give them tools. You would rather give a prize to terrorists than Yisrael Beytenu."
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded that she supports the death penalty and even proposed a bill to implement it in the last Knesset, but the government's position is to oppose Gal's bill and allow the new committee to make recommendations.
Gal gathered the 20 signatures necessary to hold a roll-call vote, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Minister Without Portfolio Ofir Akunis, both of whom said they support death penalty for terrorists, were absent. Other MKs and ministers who openly backed the bill voted against it.
A Bayit Yehudi source said Bennett skipped the vote intentionally, because he did not want to vote against the death penalty, but Shaked could not get away with absenting herself because she is the chairwoman of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.
Source: The Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2015
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