Israel's Knesset on Wednesday discussed and voted on a bill that would give the military the authority to expel the families of Palestinian terrorists.
The "Expulsion Bill" eventually passed its preliminary vote by a margin of 69 to 38, but not before a furious outburst by Arab lawmakers that resulted in them being removed from the plenum.
According to the bill's author, MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home), the legislation has become necessary to restore the "deterrence that is the bedrock of Israel's security.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin noted that the situation today is that Palestinians have nothing but incentive to engage in terrorist violence against Israelis. He was referring to the Palestinian Authority's practice of paying what amount to generous monthly salaries to the families of Palestinian Arabs arrested or killed during attacks on Israeli Jews.
Three members of the Joint Arab List faction who routinely identify themselves as "Palestinians" loudly protested, forcing the Knesset Speaker to eventually have them escorted from the hall by security (see above video). Loudest among them was MK Ahmed Tibi, who insist that the bill only further demonstrated that Israel is a nation of war criminals.
What the bill authorizes is the expulsion of terrorists' families from their homes and villages, not from the country itself. As such, senior security officials have balked at the legislation, questioning how it could possibly ever be implemented.
A senior security official who spoke to Ha'aretz on condition of anonymity explained the problem thus: "How exactly are we supposed to do this? Take families and throw them in the Hebron Hills? And then what? Watch them so that they don't move? Chase them each time they go back to their village and then throw them out again?"