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Children stand trial for stone-throwing

April 27, 2010 2:26 P.M. (Updated: April 30, 2010 11:11 A.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Fourteen and 15-year-old brothers stood trial at Ofer's military court on Monday, facing charges of throwing stones at Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

The boys, Nadim and Jihad Basim Kawazba from Bethlehem's Al-Minya neighborhood, were recommended for sentences of three and four months detention but the judge's decision was delayed when lawyers Eyhab Al-Ghaleith and Iyad Misk requested that the hearing be postponed until Thursday.

Both boys were also set to be fined 2,500 shekels (670 US dollars) each, but a final decision on the fine will wait for the reconvening, lawyers said.

The boys' father, Basim Kawazba, said he was prohibited from visiting his sons in the courtroom, saying they looked scared .

Basim explained that on Thursday, 50 Israeli soldiers surrounded his home at 3am, entered the building and ransacked it.

"The soldiers blindfolded the boys and handcuffed them. When I insisted on escorting them, they blindfolded and handcuffed me and took me with them. After I was 3 kilometers away from home, the soldiers released me and took my sons to the Etzion detention center south of Bethlehem," Basim described.

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