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Israel advances bill increasing stone-throwers' sentences

June 1, 2015 10:12 A.M. (Updated: June 1, 2015 6:56 P.M.)
A Palestinian youth pictured in Nabi Saleh.(AFP/File Abbas Momani)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- An Israeli ministerial legal committee approved Sunday a bill that could see protesters who throw stones at moving vehicles jailed for up to 10 years.

The bill, which faces a series of parliament readings before coming into effect, would amend an existing law that allows stone-throwers to be jailed for 20 years, but only if it can be proven they intended to inflict harm.

The new version would enable 10 years imprisonment for "throwing stones or other objects at travelling vehicles in a manner that could endanger the passenger's safety" or harm the vehicle, the bill read.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party, who presented the bill and heads the ministerial committee for legislation that approved it, noted that stone-throwers were currently receiving "very soft punishments compared to their crimes," since intent was difficult to prove.

"The amendment to the law effectively places the responsibility on the stone-thrower and not the prosecutor," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Anyone who throws stones at cars or people has to assume someone will get hurt."

The same amendment was passed by the Israeli cabinet in November under centrist then-justice minister Tzipi Livni but was not finalized by the time the parliament was dissolved ahead of the March 17 snap elections.

Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation routinely throw rocks at heavily armed security forces during clashes as one of the few means available to protest their subjugation.

Youths often throw stones at settler cars driving in the occupied West Bank, while it is also common for settlers themselves -- protected by Israel's army and armed -- to target Palestinian vehicles with rocks.

Settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank is routine and goes unpunished by Israel,with 324 incidents of violence recorded in 2014, according tothe UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
Comments
Carol Scheller / Switzerland
Absolutely right. These disruptive vandals need education and reform.
01/06/2015 11:10
Who is kidding who? / Papua New Guinea
To caption that image as ''A Palestinian youth pictured in Nabi Saleh'' .(AFP/File Abbas Momani) in your article is clearly incorrect. He is obviously a Palestinian child, anyone can see this fact.
01/06/2015 12:14
Tibi / Tubas
If it hadn't been trying to be so fair, humane, and moral, Israel would have advanced a bill increasing stone-throwers' sentences decades ago, and
Now in a similar move, prisoners will no longer be allowed to have cellphones either !!
01/06/2015 14:01
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