Knesset passes widespread anti-terror law

Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday voted to approve an anti-terror bill which increases the punishments for those who organize terror attacks and enables courts to convict terror cell leaders more easily.

The bill, which was proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, passed into law with 57 lawmakers in favor and 16 opposed.

The legislation replaces a series of emergency provisions used since the establishment of the state and marks the first time that punishments for terror attacks have been enshrined into Israeli law.

The main points of the law, terrorists directly or indirectly involved in organizing terror cells could receive up to 25 years in prison.

Terrorists who are found to have used chemical, biological, or radioactive weapons during attacks will face life sentences as part of the new reforms.

Legislation defines terrorism as an action or threat done out of a “political, religious, nationalistic or ideological” motive.

In a significant move, the law does not differentiate between Jews and Palestinians or soldiers and civilians.

The passing of the legislation comes as Israel is reeling from a mass terrorist shooting attack in Tel Aviv that left four dead.

An Arab terrorist shot dead four people at a popular Tel Aviv nightspot, the deadliest attack in a months-long wave of Palestinian terror.