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Israel sentences Palestinian child to a month in prison for rock throwing

Jan. 16, 2017 2:19 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 16, 2017 5:37 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- The Israeli military court at the Ofer detention center sentenced 13-year-old Jabir Rebhi Badawi to 31 days in prison after the child was accused of throwing stones, Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) lawyer Munther Abu Ahmad said on Sunday evening.

In addition to the month-long prison sentence, Jabir, a resident of the al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was also fined with 3,000 shekels ($784).

Israeli forces detained Jabir alongside 14-year-old Ayham Muhammad Adawi, also from al-Arrub, on Jan. 11, while the two were returning home from school.

The following day, the court decided to extend the detention of of the two boys until Jan. 15 “to continue interrogation.” It remained unclear if Ayham was still being detained as of Monday or whether he too would receive a sentence.

Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated their crackdown on Palestinian youth who are caught throwing rocks, with Israel passing a law in 2015 setting sentences up to 20 years in prison for stone throwing if intent to harm could be proven, and a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.

In September, Israeli courts sentenced four Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem, including two minors, to prison for throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

In October, Israeli forces shot and killed 15-year-old Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr in Beit Ummar in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, after soldiers claimed he was among a group of youths throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

Palestinians have said that rock throwing is a natural reaction to frustrations caused by the nearly half-century Israeli military occupation, which has been characterized by everyday forms of violence, such as nightly military raids into Palestinian communities, arbitrary detentions, home demolitions, and frequent killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians, including 400 minors, were held in Israeli prisons as of October 2016.
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