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New Law to Make It a Criminal Offense to Support Terror Groups

A law that would make it a criminal offense to support the Palestine Liberation Organization or any terrorist group will be introduced in the Knesset this week by Justice Minister Shmuel Tamir. The legislation, recommended by security sources, was drafted by the Justice Ministry and unanimously approved by the Cabinet at its regular weekly session today.

Under the proposed law, anyone who makes speeches in favor of a terrorist organization or its methods, displays its flag or sings its anthem would be subject to up to three years in jail and a $5000 fine. Under the current law, only persons charged with an overt terrorist act, conspiracy to commit such an act or membership in an illegal organization are punishable.

The new law would apply in Israel proper as well as in the occupied territories. It was initiated apparently because of the recent public expressions of support for the PLO among Israeli Arabs. Tamir said that such expressions in private would not be penalized.

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