Israeli police carry out searches of the streets. Photo/anadolu
TEL AVIV – Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a provisional law (UU) on March 28 that allows police officers to conduct house searches for illegal weapons without a warrant, particularly in Arab communities.
According to the Haaretz report, “The move is to reduce the number of illegal weapons used by criminal organizations by providing tools to the Israeli police and other law enforcement authorities.”
According to Haaretz, the provisional rule will be in effect for one year. The law was proposed by lawmakers from the coalition and opposition parties, including the six members from the opposition Yisrael Beiteinu.
The law allows Israeli police to enter and search premises without a court order, although permission from an officer of the rank of superintendent or higher must be obtained.
This operation will be documented according to standard police procedures.
The law also provides for prison terms of up to 10 years as well as fines for those caught with illegal weapons or key parts of weapons.
The penalty is for anyone found guilty of “manufacturing, importing or exporting illegal weapons”. The weapon will also be confiscated.
The move follows a similar law proposed in 2021 by former Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar that only passed the first Knesset vote.
Human rights defenders have criticized the new law, warning it could “harm Arab societies.”
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