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Two Palestinian youths detained for stone throwing near Nablus

July 28, 2016 12:46 P.M. (Updated: July 28, 2016 8:33 P.M.)
A Palestinian child throws a stone towards an Israeli soldier during clashes on the outskirts of the al-Jalazun refugee camp on Jan. 31, 2014. (AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two young Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces on suspicion of throwing stones at an Israeli bus on Route 55 near Nablus City on Wednesday, according to Israeli sources. 

A spokesperson for the Israeli army told Ma'an that two Palestinian youths were found nearby the site of the incident with a slingshot. One of the young Palestinians, whose age was not revealed, reportedly admitted to throwing the stones after being interrogated, while a witness to the incident informed Israeli soldiers that the two Palestinian youths were the perpetrators. They were then detained by Israeli forces for "further investigation."

The spokesperson added that the bus was damaged, but no injuries were reported. 

Newly approved changes to Israeli legislation increased the penalty for stone throwing in 2014 and 2015, a move which rights groups have said specifically targets young Palestinians for crimes that Israeli Jews are rarely held accountable for.

In July 2015, legislation was passed in the Israeli Knesset allowing sentencing for up to 20 years for someone convicted of throwing stones at vehicles, with the possibility of receiving a 20-year sentence if intent can be proven. However, the law allows the Israeli state to imprison someone for up to 10 years without proof of intent.

In November, Israel established legislation sentencing Palestinians to a minimum of three years in prison for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli. Included in the legislation are provisions allowing Israeli authorities to strip stone throwers of their state benefits and canceling access to national health insurance and social services for the families of the accused.

Israel detains hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone-throwing every year, and Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, "93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months."

Interrogations of Palestinian children can last up to 90 days according to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, during which they are often beaten, threatened, sexually assaulted, and placed in solitary confinement to elicit confessions, while confession documents they are forced to sign are in Hebrew -- a language most Palestinian children do not speak.
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