Saturday June 22, 2024

Germany warns Israel death penalty would be ‘mistake’

March 01, 2023

BERLIN: Germany on Tuesday warned Israel it would be a “big mistake” to introduce the death penalty for those guilty of killing Israeli citizens, after a ministerial committee backed the proposal.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, after talks with her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen in Berlin, said that “we consider particularly worrying the plan to introduce” capital punishment. “We are firmly opposed to the death penalty, and we are raising this issue all over the world,” she told a press conference alongside Cohen.

On Sunday, Israel´s ministerial committee for legislation backed a bill that would bring in the punishment, which was part of a coalition agreement reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an extreme-right political partner.

It states that someone who kills an Israeli citizen “out of racism or hostility to their group... and aiming to harm the State of Israel and the renewal of the Jewish people in their land, shall be sentenced to death, and this penalty only”.

Baerbock noted Germans learn in school that Israel -- although “threatened like no other country by terrorism” -- has not carried out any executions since 1962, when Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was hanged.