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From the field

A Murderer to Guard the Knesset?

B'Tselem urges rejection of the appointment of Ehud Yatom as Head Knesset Security

B'Tselem today requested that the Speaker of the Knesset and the Committee for Knesset Affairs reject MK Rehavam Ze'evi's recommendation to appoint Ehud Yatom to serve as Head of Knesset Security. It is unacceptable, B'Tselem states, that a senior position in the Knesset - the symbol of Israel's sovereignty - will be held by an individual who proudly and publicly proclaimed that he committed premeditated murder to protect State security.

Yatom is a self-confessed murderer, having admitted in an interview with Yediot Aharonot in July 1996 that he personally killed two Palestinians who were captured in the Egged Bus Line No. 300 episode. Along with the skull of Subhi and Majid Abu-Jama, Yatom also shattered the image the world holds of Israel as a moral nation.

The strange pardon granted to Yatom does not remove the stain clinging to him. That his name repeatedly appears as a candidate for public positions is indeed a mark against Israel itself. His act must, at least, be sufficient cause to ban him forever from holding a public and responsible position in any enlightened country.

In the past, B'Tselem urged the international community to prosecute Yatom because Israel had not tried him. B'Tselem again calls upon the Israeli government to state that it will punish to the full extent of the law persons who, while safeguarding Israel's security, commit a clearly unlawful and immoral act, and that the perpetrators will not be allowed to benefit from legal or administrative measures exempting them from criminal responsibility for their acts.