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Israel bill to expel Palestinian families passes first vote

Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett [HNM News/Facebook]
Israeli defence minister, Naftali Bennett, 27 September 2017 [HNM News/Facebook]

The Israeli Knesset today progressed a bill to expel families of Palestinians involved in resistance attacks against occupation forces.

According to the Hebrew-language Maariv news site, the bill was approved by 69 votes for and 38 against.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, presented the bill for its first reading at the Knesset.

The bill was approved by the Knesset's Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday – despite the objection of the attorney general, the head of the Shin Bet security service and the army's Chief of Staff.

READ: Knesset approves 200 communities where Arabs are banned

If passed into law, the bill will allow the Israeli army's Central Command to expel families and relatives of Palestinians who carry out or are involved in resistance attacks against Israelis from their hometowns to other areas of the West Bank within a week of the alleged event.

Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman reportedly told the security cabinet that the legislation "cannot be implemented", explaining that "we are unable to go into Hebron and Nablus every day and see who lives where and whether the family has returned to their residence".

However Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told lawmakers, during a Likud party meeting: "The expulsion of terrorists is an effective tool. In my opinion, its benefit exceeds its damage."

READ: Knesset speaker tells settlers Israel must annex the West Bank

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