Knesset discussion on limiting pardons for Palestinians

Right-wing legislators hoped Monday to speed up the passage of a bill that would deny certain murderers the right to be considered for a pardon, but the proceedings stalled over whether “only terrorists should be denied this right.” The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee met in a special session Monday to discuss the bill, which is aimed to preventing the release of Palestinians in prisoner exchanges.


The request to narrow the bill’s scope came from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who only wanted “security prisoners” to be denied consideration for a presidential pardon. Attorney Michal Tzuk, the president’s legal adviser, criticized the bill, saying it limits the scope of presidential pardons in a way unlike anywhere else in the world. MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) said he feared the bill could prove an obstacle to an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank in an agreement with the Palestinians that included the release of prisoners.