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Will expelling families of Palestinian attackers to Gaza stop terror?

A proposal to expel the families of Palestinians who attack Israelis to Gaza could motivate relatives remaining in the West Bank to commit revenge attacks.
A Palestinian woman looks out her apartment in a residential buildings, that witnesses said was heavily damaged by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip May 25, 2015. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem 


Expel to Gaza the families of Palestinians who attack Israelis. That is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest proposal to combat the third intifada and dissuade possible future assailants. On March 2, the Prime Minister's Office asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to examine the legality of such expulsions, or perhaps more properly, to “whitewash” them.

In the letter, which the Prime Minister’s Office released to the media, Netanyahu explained, “I believe that using this tool would result in a significant reduction in the number of terrorist attacks against the State of Israel, its citizens, and its residents.” Why was the request to the attorney general provided to the media? It is not clear. Was the Prime Minister’s Office trying to put pressure on the attorney general, who seems to oppose any collective punishment that might not pass muster with the Supreme Court? Might Netanyahu be trying, yet again, to show the Israeli public that he has more effective methods to stop the wave of terrorism but is being hindered by the legal system?

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