On December 31st, 2018, the Knesset plenary passed a bill, introduced by Ayel and Shaked, the Minister of Justice, that criminalizes the use of prostitution. This bill will be accompanied by an aid and support program for prostituted persons to exit prostitution. This bill, introduced as a five-year temporary order, will come into effect in 18 months to give law enforcement ample time to prepare for its implementation and expand rehabilitation services for prostituted persons (Alliance, January 1, 2019).
According to the new law, the criminal offense will mainly be considered an administrative offense, punishable by a fine of ILS 2,000 (USD 556). A repeat offense within three years is punishable by a fine of ILS 4,000 (USD 1,113). However, in relevant cases, the prosecution may indict for a criminal offense, which carries a maximum penalty of ILS 75,300 (USD 20,954). The Minister of Justice may advocate an alternative to the payment of the fine, such as attending a workshop to raise awareness and educate the public on the harm caused to people trapped in the prostitution cycle in order to prevent recidivism.
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