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Palestinian sentenced to 8 years in prison for throwing stones at Israeli officer

July 14, 2016 5:29 P.M. (Updated: July 14, 2016 6:34 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli central court on Thursday sentenced 21-year-old Ahmad Yasser Baraghithi to eight years in prison after charging him with throwing stones and critically injuring an Israeli police officer in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem in 2014, according to the head of the Jerusalem Prisoners’ Families Committee.

Amjad Abu Asab told Ma’an that Baraghithi was also ordered to pay a fine to the courts of 120,000 shekels ($31,158).

Baraghithi was originally detained in June 2014, and is now being held in Israel’s Eshel prison after being transferred between several other Israeli prisons.

Baraghithi’s prison sentence comes amid an Israeli crackdown on Palestinian youths who throw stones at Israeli soldiers during demonstrations and raids on Palestinian communities.

In 2015, legislation was passed in the Israeli Knesset allowing sentencing for up to 20 years for a someone convicted of throwing stones at vehicles if intent could be proven. However, the law allows the Israeli state to imprison someone for up to 10 years without proof of intent. Meanwhile, Israelis who throw stones are rarely detained or prosecuted.

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."
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