“It’s time for deterrence,” said Ofir Katz, a senior government lawmaker, according to Kan, the Israeli public broadcaster. “Terrorists who receive money from the Palestinian Authority will fly from here to Gaza and Ramallah,” he added.
Zeev Elkin, a right-wing opposition lawmaker, agreed, saying that the law would “bring an end to the twisted mechanism of encouraging terrorism.”
Arab lawmakers and activists said the law was an act of discrimination.
“This is fundamentally racist legislation,” said Ahmed Tibi, a veteran Arab member of the Israeli Parliament, in a speech to fellow lawmakers. “This law will only apply to Arabs. None of you thought of applying the law to the murderer of Rabin or the murderers of the Dawabsha family or Abu Khdeir,” Dr. Tibi added, referring to killings of Yitzhak Rabin, the former Israeli prime minister, and several Palestinians by Jewish extremists.
In a statement, Adalah, an independent watchdog that promotes the rights of Palestinians in Israel, said that the bill “explicitly and exclusively targets Palestinians as part of Israel’s entrenchment of two separate legal systems based on Jewish supremacy.”
Debating the legislation in Parliament, government lawmakers said the move would give Jewish attackers more rights than Arab ones. “In the Jewish state, I prefer Jews to disloyal Arabs,” said Hanoch Milwidsky, a government lawmaker, during a committee hearing about the legislation last month.
A previous law allowed for the revocation of an attacker’s citizenship but not deportation.
The new legislation is part of a package of hard-line measures that Israeli officials say will provide a strong deterrence to Palestinian violence.
Over the weekend, the government gave retroactive authorization to nine Israeli settlements in the West Bank that were built without government permission. The move was framed as a response to Palestinian violence and it heightened tensions between Israel and the Biden administration, which strongly criticized the move.