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Israel charges 3 Palestinian teens for throwing rocks, Molotov cocktails

Sept. 18, 2017 10:30 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2017 1:49 P.M.)
An Israeli military watchtower near the Palestinian refugee camp of Aida on Nov. 30, 2016. (MaanImages/ Chloe Benoist, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli military court filed charges against three Palestinian minors after they were detained last month for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at Israeli forces stationed at Rachel's Tomb, which is located next to an Israeli military base at the edge of Aida refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that three youths, aged between 15 and 16 years old, admitted to throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. The police statement made no mention any casualties resulting from the alleged incidents.

She said one of the youths was recently released from Israeli prison after serving a sentence for similar offenses. All three are being held pending the end of legal proceedings against them, al-Samri added.

There is a 99.74 percent conviction rate for Palestinians tried in Israeli military courts, according to Human Rights Watch.

Human rights groups have also widely documented the abuse of Palestinian children by Israeli forces and the harsh interrogation practices used to force their confessions, which has long been the target of criticism by the international community.

Defense for Children International - Palestine has said their research showed that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.

Palestinian stone throwers face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, with Israel passing a laws in 2015 allowing for up to 20 years in prison if charged with throwing stones at vehicles and a minimum of three years for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli -- legislation rights groups say was designed specifically to target Palestinian youth, as Israelis and settlers are rarely prosecuted under the same standards of the law.
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