A group of Israeli settlers are expected to establish a committee to pressure the government into enacting harsher punishments on the families of Palestinian prisoners, Ynet News reported yesterday.
More than 40 Israeli families whose relatives were allegedly killed by Palestinians, believe that Palestinian resistance fighters and their families must face tougher sanctions, including denying them employment, increasing house demolitions and deportation.
After meeting senior Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the settlers concluded that there was insufficient deterrence against Palestinian resistance fighters.
“We as a society and as a government don’t do enough,” said Rian Ariel, a member of the committee. “We must increase deterrence, deny citizenship to terrorist families and carry out more house demolitions.”
She also favoured the death penalty for Palestinians accused of attacking Israeli soldiers and alleged that their families were equally responsible.
“At the same time, we must understand it cannot be allowed for a terrorist to come out alive from an attack. We must not feel sorry for savages.”
“The 17-year-old boy who murdered my daughter was incited to violence by people around him, and they have to suffer for it as well.”
Im Tirtzu, a right-wing NGO, is aiding the families in establishing the association.
“Terrorists enjoy the rights and benefits criminal prisoners can’t even dream of. This is unacceptable,” Matan Peleg, the NGO’s director claimed.
Israel is known to illegally detain and torture Palestinian prisoners, including children and those on hunger strike, many of whom have been sentenced to decades in jail. A report released in June found that 95 per cent of children who were arrested by Israeli occupying forces since 2000 were tortured or assaulted during their detention.
Amnesty International is one of many human rights organisations that has condemned Israel’s policy of collective punishment, in which the families of imprisoned or slain Palestinians are also penalised for their actions.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem has termed the practice of punitive house demolitions as “court-sanctioned revenge” on relatives who have not committed crimes and it is considered illegal under international law.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increased demolitions of Palestinian homes since 2015. The move is justified as part of a policy of deterrence, despite previous military committee statements that such actions do not prevent attacks.