Knesset approves first reading of the draft law “Jenin – Jenin”

MEMO | May 24, 2013

Knesset-logo[1]According to the Jerusalem Newspaper on May 23, 2013, the website for Israel’s Seventh Channel television station said that on Wednesday afternoon, the Knesset has approved the first reading of the bill named “Jenin – Jenin” which relates to what Israel calls the “defamation” of Israeli soldiers.

The bill was presented by members of the Knesset; Uni Steffen of the Jewish Home, Yariv Levin of Likud Beiteinu and Nahman Shay of the Labor Party.

The “Jenin – Jenin” law represents an amendment to the current libel law and approval will allow soldiers to sue any person or institution that criticizes the practices of Occupation soldiers.

The idea and the name of the draft law go back to a documentary film named (Jenin – Jenin) directed by the Palestinian Mohammed Bakri, through which he presented some of the practices of the Israeli Occupation army during the invasion of the Jenin refugee camp in 2002.

Al-Ghad newspaper, Oman, quoted, on May 23,2013, Barhoum Gracie, as saying that the MP Yonie Steffen of the Jewish Home Party submitted the bill, where the Knesset’s Administrative Committee gave it the right to urgently be displayed on the agenda without waiting 45 days as stipulated in the parliamentary system. Also the law was supported by the ministerial committee for legislation despite the fact that the head of that committee, Minister of judiciary, Tzipi Livni, has expressed her reservation towards the law. However, the Commission itself, which represents the government’s position, ratified also expanding the scope of the law to include all of the elements and “security services”, including the police, intelligence services, and others.

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