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Knesset votes on bill to expel families of Palestinian attack suspects

Dec. 19, 2018 1:26 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 23, 2018 12:47 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli Knesset voted, on Wednesday, on the first reading of a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis.

According to the Hebrew-language "Maarev" news site, the bill was approved by 69 votes with, and 38 votes against.

The Israeli Jewish Home political party presented bill for its first reading at the Knesset.

The bill was approved by the Israeli Cabinet ministers on Sunday. However, according to Haaretz, the Israeli governing coalition had postponed consideration of the bill, submitted by by Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev, for three months.

The bill, if passed into law, would allow the Israeli army's Central Command to expel families and relatives of Palestinians, who had carried out or were involved in attacks or attempted against Israelis, of their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank within a week of the attack or attempt.

Haaretz also said that head of the Israeli Shin Bet, chief of staff the Israeli army and the army's Attorney General all oppose the bill.

Attorney General of the army Avichai Mandelblit had announced his official opposition to the bill, on Monday.

Mandelblit warned that the bill could infringe on human rights and spark international condemnation of Israel.

In his statement issued by his office, Mandelbit said that the measures in the bill proposal "severely infringe upon the liberty and property of the family members who are slated for deportation, due to the act of another family member and without proof that (the family) also poses a danger."

Mandelblit said that the current law allows for Israel to "assign a place of residence" to Palestinians in the case that a specific threat comes from that specific person, and after examining the proportionality of expelling them from their home.

The statement added that "There is therefore a constitutional impediment to advancing the proposed legislation."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers, during a Likud party faction meeting, that "The expulsion Expulsion of terrorists is an effective tool. In my opinion, its benefit exceeds its damage."

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