Israel-Gaza War, Domestic Terrorism

Knesset Constitutional Committee Approves Year in Prison for Hamas and ISIS Content Consumers

The punishment passed by a vote of 6-1.

Constitutional Committee Chairman MK Simcha Rothman. (Photo: Arik Marmour/Flash90)

Today (Monday), the Knesset Constitutional Committee approved the law proposal establishing a year in prison as punishment for systematic consumption of content published by ISIS and Hamas. Once fully approved by the relevant committees, it will be sent to the Knesset plenum for the second and third vote, after which it will become law.

Committee Chairman MK Simcha Rothman said that he succeeded in reaching a formula agreed to by most members of the house, and that he was splitting up the law proposal to allow the committee to continue to discuss the section dealing with the division of powers between the state prosecution and the police prosecution regarding the enforcement of crimes according to the Counter-Terrorism Law, which anchors the already existing status quo.

Chairman Rothman said that “I thank my colleagues from the coalition and the opposition, even though I know the law proposal wasn’t easy for either side. In the end, we coalesced around a formula in the spirit of the unity of these days, of a war against the terrorism that threatens us all. I have a lot more to say on what happened during the preparation of the law, including regarding the struggle against terrorism and incitement, but we will deal with this subject at length in the follow up meeting.”

In the governmental law proposal that was approved, two years imprisonment is proposed as a temporary order punishment for those who systematically consume certain publications of Hamas and ISIS over an extended period. Such contents would include either praise, admiration or encouragement for terrorist acts or documentation of terrorist acts accompanying the publications.

However, such consumption done at random, in good faith, or for a proper purpose does not constitute forbidden consumption.

During deliberations, the committee added another part to the systematic and ongoing consumption test – circumstances attesting to identification with a terrorist organization.

Five MKs supported the law: Chairman MK Rothman, and MKs Hanoch Milwidsky, Karine Elharrar, Yoav Segelovitch, and Gilad Kariv. Opposed: MK Youssef Atauna.

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