MK Arieh Eldad (National Union-National Religious Party) said Monday that "anyone who gives away Israeli territory, under Israel's law, deserves the death penalty."
Eldad spoke after Israel and Syria announced last week that Jerusalem and Damascus had renewed indirect peace talks via Turkey, which sparked speculations that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Syria an Israeli pullout from the Golan Heights in the run-up to the announcement.
Eldad, speaking at the first meeting of the Golan Lobby at the Knesset Monday, quoted the chapter of the penal code applying to treason, saying "he who purposefully causes any territory to cease being under Israel's sovereignty or to be under the sovereignty of a foreign country, or any act that results in this, must be sentenced to death or life imprisonment."
Eldad went on to say that the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War, was a part of Israel, and anyone who intends to give any part of it away must be put to death.
Fellow National Union-National Religious Party member MK Effie Eitam responded to Eldad's comments, saying that the remark could be interpreted as incitement to act against the prime minister. Eldad explained that he intended only to act within the confines of the justice system.
Acting coalition leader MK Yoel Hasson said in response that Eldad is a provocateur of the basest variety, and that he had turned into an unacceptable person.
Meretz MK Ran Cohen submitted an official incitement complaint against Eldad to Attorney General Menachem Mzuz. According to Cohen, Eldad's remarks were reminiscent of the days leading up to the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, which must never again be heard.
The Prime Minister's Bureau issued an official response, saying "the man and the remark are not worthy of a response."
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