Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced support for legislation that allows both civilian and military courts to hand down death sentences to those convicted of murder, in a measure widely believed to be aimed at Palestinians.
The controversial bill, which already passed its preliminary vote in Israel’s parliament (Knesset) in January, has now been approved by Netanyahu to move forward.
Under the current law, military courts can only hand down the death penalty if a panel of three judges unanimously agrees on the verdict.
Palestinian politicians and human rights activists have already denounced the move and expressed concern that it will give Israel legal cover to target Palestinians.
The bill was introduced by Russian born minister of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party late in 2017. Lieberman said at the time that the bill would be a powerful deterrent to Palestinians.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences.
Over 500 detainees are under the so-called administrative detention, a policy that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians without charge or trial for up to six months, extendable for an infinite number of times.
Over 180 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Israeli forces since then. The regime has also stepped up its campaign of raids and arrests in the occupied West Bank as part of the escalation.
PressTV / AB Flash Point Extreme News 2018.