Bill proposing special penalties for settlers slammed
Clauses of the evacuation-compensation bill detailing special penalties for settlers refusing to evacuate their homes in Gush Katif came under harsh criticism during a Tuesday session of the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
The committee is debating the bill prior to its second and third reading in the Knesset plenum.
Dr. Boaz Sanjaro, a lecturer of criminal law at Ramat Gan College, said the current criminal code contains enough clauses allowing sufficient penalties for settlers who refuse to evacuate and for those who come to Gush Katif in order to hinder the evacuation. He said there is no need to determine specific penalties in the evacuation-compensation law.
Sanjaro said the proposed penalties for settlers were out of proportion. According to the law, a settler who reopens a home sealed by the security forces is liable to three years imprisonment. A settler who "disturbs the peace" with at least two other people while carrying a firearm or other weapon is liable to five years imprisonment, according to the bill.
Sanjaro suggested the committee not approve the clauses in the evacuation-compensation law dealing with penalties.
Committee Chairman MK Michael Eitan (Likud) also slammed the proposed punishments.
Eitan said that even though he supports the disengagement plan, he would want it to be carried out in a manner that would not blemish the committee with having granted unnecessary tools to law enforcement authorities responsible for the pullout.