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Israel's new anti-terror laws spell harsh punishment


07-12-2016 00:34 BJT

A new, sweeping anti-terror laws passed in Parliament last month have raised concerns for being too harsh and threatening civil liberties. The laws call for harsh punitive measures taken against potential terrorists. Arab party parliamentarians say the laws go too far, undermining basic human rights.

Samah Dweik was arrested in April and she’s been in an Israeli jail since pending sentencing. The charges: Twelve counts of inciting violence and terror for terminology she used when posting on Facebook about Palestinians stabbing Israeli soldiers
A print and radio journalist, Samah reflected popular Palestinian sentiment in her posts by referring to attackers as “knife commandos” and recent Palestinian-on-Israeli violence as “the new uprising” Under new anti-terror laws, she faces up to three years in this Israeli prison.

"This law is bad for human rights. Israel is implementing emergency laws from the 1945 British mandate but in modern democracy, it doesn’t work," Attorney fro Samah Dweik Ramzi Ktilat said.

The new anti-terror laws call for computer surveillance, administrative detention and seven years in jail for threatening to commit a terror act. Too harsh?

"An accomplice to terrorism or a person who encourages terrorism should sit in jail. The punishments are harsh - not easy. But in order to put a stop to the current cycle, tough measures are needed," Isreali Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said.

Samah’s sister says when it comes to her case, it’s less about the alleged crime and more about the example.

"Samah is well known, popular and has a huge number of followers," Samah Dweik's sisiter Israa Dweik said.

Anti-terror law critics and proponents agree on one point: Extreme punishment is meant to spread fear. The backlash, however, might be anger and retaliation.

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