The cabinet has approved legislation that, if it becomes law, will prevent the political echelon from agreeing to Arab extortion during hostage crises.
The bill, promoted by the Likud and Jewish Home parties, would remove the possibility of mass prisoner swaps by annulling the president’s ability to grant pardons or clemency in pre-meditated murder cases. The bill would effectively remove the government’s ability to use convicted killers as bargaining chips for IDF soldiers.
The measure was sponsored by MKs Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), Yariv Levin (Likud), David Tzur (Hatnua). The main opposition to the bill came from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has released more convicts than any other prime minister, on grounds that the new law would limit his ability to grant concessions to the Palestinians. Opponents also say the bill is flawed because it grants additional power to the judiciary over government activities.