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7 Palestinian children sentenced to prison for stone-throwing

March 16, 2016 3:00 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2016 7:50 P.M.)
JERUSALEM- (Ma’an) -- An Israeli court in Jerusalem on Wednesday sentenced seven Palestinian children to jail time ranging from 12 to 39 months for alleged stone-throwing, a lawyer with prisoners' rights group Addameer said.

Lawyer Muhammad Mahmoud said the Jerusalem court had convicted the children of throwing stones at Israeli cars in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Mahmoud said that the children included three boys aged 14 years old, two aged 16, one aged 17, and another whose age was not specified.

Saleh Ashraf Ishtayya, 16, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, while Muhammad Ahmad Jaber and Murad Raed Alqam, both 14, were sentenced to three years.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Na’el Tayeh, 17, and Zaid Ayed al-Taweel, 16, were both sentenced to two years and four months in prison, Omar Rani Yaseen, 14, received a one-year sentence, and Yazan Hani Ayoub, was sentenced to one year and two months in prison.

All seven minors spent eight months under house arrest before their sentencing, Mahmoud said.

They were originally detained in June, before they were released on bail under house arrest after spending two weeks at Israel's Russian Compound detention center.

Mahmoud added that the court held several hearing sessions until the final sentencing was announced, and he planned to appeal the case in higher Israeli courts.

In response to the sentencing, the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Prisoners' Families, Amjad Abu Asab, told Ma'an that Israel's ruling against the seven minors was "illegal and unfair."

He accused the court of being influenced by Netanyahu’s "threats" against the Palestinian children in Jerusalem in a "hopeless attempt to control them and stop them from defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

In an earlier report, Addameer found that the most common charge levied against Palestinian children is stone throwing, a crime that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

After a wave of upheaval swept through the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel at the start of October, Israeli forces began increasing their detention of children.

According to Addameer, the number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention has nearly tripled since last summer, with 450 in Israeli jails as of February, as opposed to 155 at the end of August.

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