Israeli Ministers Pass Bill Blocking Prisoner Swaps

Would Bar Release of Convicted Murderers

In a 7-3 vote, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation has passed a bill on that aims to effectively block any resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians by forbidding the release of prisoners convicted of murder.

The bill’s language restricts the power of the government to pardon people convicted of murder, and was touted by Jewish Home MPs as a “significant deterrence to terrorism.”

The appendix to the bill explicitly states that the purpose of the bill is to prevent prisoner swaps or other diplomatic overtures with the Palestinians. The last round of peace talks ended in late March when Israel reneged on a prisoner release.

Since all of the efforts to restart talks center on the idea of finally following through on such releases, the bill is an effort to preclude that, though since it would only impact new convictions, and not those done before the bill’s passage, it doesn’t completely block that possibility.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of