The Knesset has passed a bill against illegal Arab infiltrators for its second and third readings, by a vote of 44 to 16. The new law focuses on punishing those who employ or assist infiltrators.
MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) attempted to sabotage the bill by linking it to a vote of no confidence in the government, thus forcing Zionist Union and Yesh Atid to decide between voting in favor of the bill and expressing their opposition to the government. His effort was unsuccessful.
The law was first introduced by MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) during the previous Knesset but the government broke up before it came to a final vote. The current version has received widespread support, largely thanks to the efforts of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud).
MK Yogev praised today's vote, saying: "I am happy that the bill to increase punishments for those who employ, house and support illegal infiltrators has finally been approved.
"I am in favor of approving another thousand Palestinians to work in Israel but, for those who do not receive permission, it generally results from security threats," he added. "This law is another tool in the toolbox of the war on terror and is designed to reduce attacks and to save lives."