By World Israel News Staff
A bill presented by Likud MK Eli Cohen to expel the families of terrorists from the country Wednesday evening failed to pass, with 45 votes in favor and 57 against.
“There are two elements that can help prevent terrorist attacks: the demolition of houses and the expulsion of families who support terrorism. It is inconceivable that some members of the government do not clearly condemn all the attacks and do not clearly support the soldiers who kill those terrorists,” Cohen said.
Included among those who voted against the bill was Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the nationalist Yamina party, which had previously supported such bills.
The Knesset erupted into chaos as soon as Bennett’s vote against the bill was announced, with opposition lawmakers shouting “Shame!”
Until the last national election, Bennett had presented himself as being to the right of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud party. As noted by Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich, Bennett had supported similar bills before becoming premier and leading a diverse coalition that includes the left-wing Meretz and Islamist Ra’am parties.
Bennett “sold his soul to supporters of terrorism in the Islamic Movement for political survival and has now dropped – in collaboration with the [Arab] Joint List – the law for the deportation of terrorists’ families,” Smotrich charged.
MK Moshe Arbel of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party called the prime minister a “terrorist supporter.”