JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Knesset passed a “stop and frisk” law allowing police to search individuals if there is a “reasonable suspicion” they will commit a crime or are carrying an illegal weapon.
The law passed by a vote of 39-31 in its second and third readings on Tuesday.
A temporary provision allows police to stop and frisk even without reasonable suspicion based on the fear that an individual is planning to carry out a terror attack. The provision will remain valid for a year.
In a debate before the vote, those opposed to the legislation said it would increase discrimination against minorities such as Arabs, haredi Orthodox, Ethiopians and Russians.
“Searches without a reason and without limits don’t protect the public’s welfare and security,” Dov Khenin of the Joint Arab List said. “This won’t provide security but will augment the harm to individual rights, and the mistrust between the police and many populations in Israel. Overly zealous searches will also lead to more incidents of sexual harassment of women.”
The original legislation was proposed in 2011, and passed a first reading as part of an attempt to halt violence at entertainment and other venues, according to Haaretz. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan recently reintroduced the proposal to use in the fight against the current spate of Palestinian terror attacks.