The “Youth Bill,” which will allow the authorities to imprison a minor convicted of serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder or manslaughter even if he or she is under the age of 14, passed its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum Tuesday night.
Thirty-two MKs voted in favor of the bill in the third and final vote, while 16 MKs opposed the legislation, and one lawmaker abstained from voting.
Under the legislation, which was proposed by MK Anat Berko (Likud), the courts will be permitted to set discussions regarding the imprisoned juvenile while he or she is being held at a close facility. During the discussions, the courts will be allowed to postpone the convicted minor’s transfer date from the closed facility to a prison, shorten the convicted minor’s prison sentence or cancel the prison sentence.
”The seriousness that we attach to terror and acts of terror that cause bodily injury and property damage, and the fact that these acts of terror are being carried out by minors, demands a more aggressive approach including toward minors who are convicted of offenses, particularly serious offenses,” the explanatory introduction to the bill reads.
MK Berko said, ”This law was born of necessity. We have been experiencing a wave of terror for quite some time. A society is allowed to protect itself. To those who are murdered from a knife in the heart it does not matter if the child is 12 or 15. We`ve witnessed numerous cases where 11 years old children were suicide bombers. Perhaps this law will also do something to protect these children from being used to slaughter people.”