Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni / Flash 90
Police at the scene of a terror attack that killed one and wounded 20 in Ra'anana, January 15, 2024.

Following last Monday’s murderous rampage in Ra’anana of two Arab illegal vagrants from Hebron who killed an elderly woman and wounded 20, Coalition Chairman MK Ofir Katz (Likud) and MK Yulia Malinovski (Israel Beitenu) announced they are working on lightening legislation to impose unprecedented penalties to individuals who hire, lodge, or transport an illegal vagrant who later commits a terrorist act.

The bill stipulates a penalty of 8 years in prison and a fine of NIS 226,000 ($60,000) to an employer whose vagrant employee commits an act of terrorism. In addition, the business that employed the vagrant terrorist will be shut down for at least six months.


This is the first time the Knesset contemplates serious penalties for illegal vagrants engaged in terrorism as well as their employers. In the past, Israeli courts sentenced illegal vagrants to a maximum of one month in prison. The Supreme Court ruled back in 2006 that the punishment for lodgers, employers, and drivers of illegal vagrants should be a significant prison sentence, but a 2013 study (Do Sentencing Guidelines
Increase Prosecutorial Power? An Empirical Study) showed that defendants in these cases rarely receive prison sentences at all. As a result, in 2014, the Supreme Court revoked this policy and ordered converting actual prison terms to conditional prison terms for short periods, in cases where the purpose of entering Israel is only for livelihood.

In August 2016, then-IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, estimated that 50-60 thousand illegal vagrants enter Israel every day.

Since the beginning of January 2024, 270 illegal Arab vagrants from the Palestinian Authority have been captured by the Border Guard.

This week, police arrested an illegal vagrant from the PA in Ashdod, and 16 in Umm al-Fahm, near Hadera, five of whom are from Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Border Guard arrested four illegal vagrants from Idhna, outside Hebron, who were stealing weapons and ammunition from an IDF base in the south.

MKs Katz and Malinovski intend to pass their bill in a third reading in the plenum in a few months.


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