Israel parliament gives initial OK to suspending lawmakers

Israel's parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill allowing lawmakers to suspend a legislator by a three-quarters majority vote.

Lawmakers drafted the bill after three Arab lawmakers visited the families of Palestinians who had attacked Israelis. In the last six months, Palestinians have killed 28 Israelis in stabbings, shooting and vehicular attacks. At least 188 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, a majority of whom Israel says were attackers.

Nissan Slomiansky of the Jewish Home party presented the bill Monday, saying: "There are borders to democracy."

Legislators could suspend a colleague for "inciting to racism," ''supporting armed struggle, by an enemy state or terrorist organization, against Israel," or "negating the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

The bill must pass two more readings to become law.