Over the past few years, an Israeli inter-governmental team was involved in drawing up a comprehensive Counter-Terrorism Bill which is currently before Israel's Knesset. The enactment of the Counter-Terrorism Bill will constitute an important milestone in the development of Israeli law on issues related to the legal framework for counter-terrorism. This paper highlights some of our thoughts and ideas regarding the legal challenges facing Israel's legal efforts to combat terrorism. It begins with an explanation of some of the reasons that brought us to initiate this Bill, and then summarizes the main areas sought to be regulated by it.
The need for new legislation in Israel arose from the existing legal situation, in which issues related to terrorism are regulated by a number of different legal instruments (among them, the Defense Regulations, Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, Prohibition on Terrorist Financing Law and the Penal Code). The problem with some of the old legislation is that it does not in all cases reflect an appropriate balance between security considerations and constitutional rights. Additionally, there is an overlap between the some of the statutes, which leads to legal inconsistency.