Thousands of Israelis attended funeral services today for the four Israelis slain in yesterday’s terrorist attack on Nahariya. Premier Menachem Begin was present at the burial of Danny Aran, 28, and his two daughters, Einat, 4, and, Yael, 2, at Tivon, near Haifa. Defense Minister Ezer Weizman delivered the eulogy at the burial services for the fourth victim, police Sgt. Eliyahu Shachar, who was buried at his home town, Maalot, in Upper. Galilee near the ### border.
Meanwhile, demands for the death penalty for terrorists multiplied as fury mounted in Israel over the Nahariya murders, especially the deaths of the children. It was learned that Einat’s head was smashed in by the killers who then shot her father to death before surrendering to police.
Avraham Sharir, Parliamentary Whip of the Likud coalition, announced today that he would seek legislation by the Knesset to make the death penalty mandatory for the murder of children. Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Shamir said yesterday that he intended to propose legislation that would restore the death penalty as an option in the cases of terrorists who commit wanton murder. Capital punishment is not outlawed in Israel’s legal statutes but it has never been applied except in the case of Adolf Eichman. Prosecuting attorneys have standing orders not to request the death penalty.
NEW DEBATE ON DEATH PENALTY
But the rising tide of sentiment in the wake of the Nahariya outrage is believed certain to spark a new debate on the subject. Proponents of capital punishment say that its absence encouraged the terrorists to commit revolting crimes against civilians. The terrorists Know they will only go to jail if caught and stand a chance of being released in exchange for hostages, those in favor of the death penalty say. They cite the recent release of 75 terrorists in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Avraham Amram, who was captured by terrorists last year while on an unauthorized tour in south Lebanon.
There are still many, however, who oppose the death penalty. They argue that it would only make martyrs of the killers and create sympathy abroad for the Palestinian cause. Some security officials are also opposed. They say terrorists would be less likely to surrender if they know they were to be executed and less likely to provide valuable information under interrogation.
According to senior security sources, the gang that attacked Nahariya yesterday planned to take hostages and hold them in Lebanon for the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israel. That disclosure gave impetus for demands for the quick trial and execution of the murderers of children.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.