A new Israeli Death Penalty Bill against Palestinian Detainees

09 December 2018

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the occupation state on 5 November 2018, on supporting the bill on Israeli criminal law/penal code “reforming death penalty for citizens accused of terrorist attacks, 2017.” This bill passed its first reading in the Knesset by a vote of 52 to 49 early January 2018.



Currently, the death penalty is legal under Israeli law but only as a response to crimes laid out in two laws. The first is a law regarding the treatment and detainment of Nazis and their associates (1950), and the second is for punishing and preventing the crime of genocide (1950). 



In regards to the military law, capital punishment is currently allowed when an individual is convicted of killing an Israeli though this requires a unanimous ruling from a court with three judges. Additionally, it also requires that the military prosecutor requests the death penalty. As state policy, the death penalty has not been previously requested.



The bill itself will lower the threshold to a simple majority amongst the three judges and will prohibit the commutation of a death sentence. It does not require the persecutor to seek the death penalty but will result in an increase in cases where it is sought.