State to Be Allowed to Declare Foreign Groups Terrorists

Knesset panel accords prerogative to decide who is a terrorist to PM, in defiance of security authorities.

The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee will begin deliberating new regulations Sunday that would enable the authorities to declare foreign organizations and citizens terrorists.

These regulations are designed to conform to international declarations on terrorism used by the United Nations and in the West.

Two years ago, the Knesset legislated a ban on funding terrorism, which is punishable by a 10-year term in prison and the confiscation of property belonging the the convicted organization or individual.

There has been a long delay in presenting the new regulations to the approval of the Knesset, which stems in part from disagreement between security officials over who or what constitutes a terrorist.

The security authorities would like to be the ones to decide who is a terrorist, and this issue has not been resolved. At this stage, the authority deciding the issue is the "one appointed by the prime minister."

Another point of contention remains between the state and the banks, and the method through which the authorities will inform the financial institutions that they have declared someone "terrorist."

The regulations do offer guidelines for the following: the details that will be included in the declaration of a person or an organization as "terrorist"; the ways such information will be released; the ways an appeal may be filed.

According to the regulations, whoever is declared a terrorist or a terrorist organization will be informed about this only after a declaration is made. This will allow them to appeal the decision but not defend themselves against the declaration.