On Sunday March 13 representatives from the Legal Forum for Israel participated in the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee meeting chaired by MK David Amsalem regarding an amendment to the illegal infiltrators law.
The Legal Forum initiated a bill amendment together with MK Moti Yogev in the previous Knesset which proposed harsher punishments for employers, or those who assist illegal infiltrators. At the time the amendment did not receive the support of the Justice Ministry headed by former Minister Tzipi Livni. Following the formation of the new Knesset MK Moti Yogev re-submitted the bill amendment, and at the hearing on Sunday the amendment was combined with another governmental bill amendment proposal brought forward by the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. Minister Erdan’s amendment incorporates some of the Forum’s proposals and is based on the principle which guided the Forum that punishments must be harsher in order to create a deterrent and as an integral part of the efforts to prevent terror.
The bill in question expands the definition of “employer” by law to include anyone who hired a subcontractor who employs Palestinians. In addition, it increases the fines for illegal hiring to a minimum of 5,000 NIS for a first offense by an individual and four times that for a first offense by a corporation. Repeat offenses – including employing two or more illegal infiltrators – will be considered a felony, carrying a four-year prison sentence and a 226,000 NIS fine. A regional police commander will be able to temporarily shut down a business that employed or provided a place to sleep for those working illegally in Israel for up to 30 days and a court can extend that for up to 60 more days. This is an important step in creating a significant deterrent to remove employers’ incentive to illegally hire infiltrators.
Legal Forum Proposes Forfeiture of Terrorists’ Funds to Assist Victims Families
The Fight against Terror Bill is one of the most significant bills being addressed at present. Weekly meetings are held in the Knesset Constitution, Justice and Law Committee, and representatives from the Justice Ministry, Israel Security Agency, the Police and Defense Ministry participate and debate the clauses of the Bill.
The Legal Forum monitors certain article in the bill which addresses the establishment of a special fund for monies forfeited from terrorists. The Legal Forum took part in the committee hearing on Monday March 14 and proposed additional methods in which the funds may be utilized.
The Forum has proposed that the fund will finance lawsuits by the victim’s families against the terrorists as well as benefit social and community projects commemorating the victims. The Forum’s proposals were met with support from Committee chairman Nissan Slomianski and MK Michal Rozin from Meretz . The committee has recommended that the Forum’s proposals be examined by the Justice Ministry and the Forum has presented a position paper detailing the reasoning behind the initiatives.