MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) submitted a bill Tuesday that would allow the State of Israel to close mosques which incite terror attacks against Jews and Israelis.
Smotrich's bill follows similar initiatives in France and the US, and the draft already has widespread support, with signatories from Jewish Home, Likud, and Kulanu.
"We will use every tool at our disposal," Smotrich said. "With terrorism, we must deal with the roots and not just the endpoints."
"Arab incitement is a well-oiled machine, and the platform upon which terrorism grows – and it's time to take care of it," he continued. "We will not allow the use of mosques as a fertile ground for incitement and terrorism."
"Today we say enough," he added. "Enough to incitement in the name of religion, to stop killing in the name of religion. It is time to restore deterrence to Israel, and this bill sends a clear message: we will be where incitement is."
The explanatory notes to the law states, "For many years Israel has faced horrific terrorist attacks. In recent years we have witnessed the phenomenon of barbaric terror increasing worldwide, including beheadings, and shooting innocent people, by both groups and individuals."
"Studies show that often terrorist acts are the result of wild incitement by religious leaders in the mosques, wherein the speaker rouses the audience through passionate calls to take up 'jihad for Allah,'" it continues. "While this behavior was banned many years ago in the Penal Code, no legislation has been made against the places where these incitements to violence occur."
"This proposal would ensure that such cases of incitement to terrorism, calling for a popular uprising, their efforts will be blocked and the infrastructure of incitement uprooted by issuing a closure order for the structure," it adds, noting the purpose is to "ensure public safety and fight growing incitement."