Fighting Terror in the Legal Arena

Recognition of Terror Groups, Illegal Organizations and Confiscation Orders

In Israel's fight against terror and the sources that fund it, the government has the authority to declare relevant bodies and organizations as terrorist organizations, and the Defense Minister has the authority to declare groups as unlawful associations.

Declaration of a Terror Group:

According to the 1948 Prevention of Terrorism Order, a terrorist organization is defined as a body of persons resorting in its activities to acts of violence calculated to cause death or injury to a person or to threats of such acts of violence, in order to achieve its goals. A member of a terrorist organisation is a person belonging to the aforementioned group, and  a person that participates in its activities, publishes propaganda in favour of a terrorist organisation or its activities or aims, or collects funds or goods for the benefit of a terrorist organisation or its activities.

The Terror Prevention Act states that a person will stand trial for his/her activities in a terror group and, if convicted, may be sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment. It also provides that those convicted for membership in a terrorist organization may be sentenced to 5-7 years imprisonment. Those convicted of aiding or supporting terrorist organizations are liable for  imprisonment, a fine, or both.

As specified by court order, any property of a terrorist organization shall be forfeited in favor of the state and any property is liable for confiscation with a written decision by Israel's police commissioner. The commissioner may decide to close the location used for terrorist purposes or frequented by its members.

"If the Government declares that a particular body of persons is a terrorist organisation, the notice shall serve, in any legal proceeding, as proof that that body of persons is a terrorist organisation, unless the contrary is proved." Prevention of Terrorism Order

This decision and its official publication are sufficient to sanction. Under this authority, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and others have been recognized as terrorist organizations.

Declaration of an Unlawful Association:

In accordance with the 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations, an unlawful association is defined as "any body of persons, whether incorporated or unincorporated, named or not, which, from time to time, suggests, incites or encourages its constitution or propaganda of the following unlawful acts:

1. Violation of Israeli law or the Israeli government by force or violence

2. Brings hatred or contempt or incitement thereof, against the Israeli government or its ministers in their official capacity

3. The destruction or damaging of Israeli government property

4. Acts of terror directed against the Israel government or its employees, or conducting any acts declared in subparagraph II, III or IV of this paragraph, or intended/pretended to be involved in such acts.

Additionally, the 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations determines that an unlawful association is any group of persons, incorporated or unincorporated, named or unnamed, which "has been declared by the Minister of Defense as unlawful, including every branch, center, committee, group, faction or institution of such a body."

After the Defense Minister declares such a group of persons unlawful, its property will be confiscated. A police officer or authorized person will be given permission to enter each site of property or documentation and hold it until receiving further instruction from the Defense Minister.

Confiscation Order:

According to Article 120 of the Defense Regulation, the Defense Minister may order "the forfeiture to the Israeli government of all its property, or part, of any person who committed or attempted to commit, encourages violations or was an accomplice to the commission of an offense against these regulations, an offense involving violence or the imposition of terror or an offense to be discussed in a military court."

The Regulation also establishes that after reviewing intelligence materials on individual or organizational violations of these regulations, the Defense Minister will officially sign an order against them. This signed confiscation order determines that objections to the order should be brought for appeal. A representative of the Defense Minister will be present at the appeal hearing and advise how to proceed. The minister will then decide on the objection and review the recommendation of this representative.

Declarations on Unauthorized Associations and Terrorists Organization in accordance with the Defense Regulations (Emergency) 1945 and the Prohibition on Terrorist Financing Law 5765-2004 and Declarations on Terrorist Organizations in accordance with the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance No 33 5708-1948 and the Counter Terrorism Law 2016 -  click here

Declarations on activists' in accordance with the Prohibition on Terrorist Financing Law 5765-2004 and the Counter Terrorism Law 2016- click here