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2 Palestinian minors sentenced to 18 years in prison over stabbing attack

Sept. 18, 2017 10:12 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 21, 2017 5:02 P.M.)
A photo taken on May 10, 2016 on the scene of an alleged stabbing attack in the illegal settlement of East Talpiyot. (MaanImages, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court reportedly sentenced two Palestinian minors to 18 years in prison each after they were convicted of carrying out a stabbing attack in May 2016 in the illegal Israeli settlement of East Talpiyot, which left two elderly Israeli women injured. A third underage Palestinian was also sentenced to 25 months in prison for his alleged involvement in planning the attack.

In addition to the 18-year sentences, the Jerusalem Juvenile Court also ordered the two teens to pay 200,000 shekels ($57,000) in compensation to the wounded Israelis, Israeli outlet Arutz Sheva reported.

The three Palestinians were detained weeks after the suspected attack, when the youths were between 16 and 17 years old. They are all from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel al-Mukabbir, which is adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement where the stabbing took place.

According to the Israel newspaper's report, the three minors had corresponded via private Facebook messages for months to plan the attack. They allegedly ultimately decided that only two would carry out the attack, and that the third would carry out a second stabbing attack against Israelis later on.

However, an Israeli police spokesperson said at the time of their arrest that the third Palestinian boy left the scene prior to the attack, fearing the consequences that could befall his family if went through with taking part.

The sentences were the latest in an Israeli crackdown on young Jerusalemite Palestinians, may of them minors, who have been accused of involvement in attacks, while Israeli authorities have ordered lengthy prison sentences for Palestinians as young as 14 years old in both East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Some of the harsher sentences to be handed down in recent months include a 35-year sentence to a Jerusalemite who allegedly assisted in a deadly stabbing attack, 16 years in prison for a 19-year-old Palestinian woman who was shot after allegedly attempting to stab a settler, while a Palestinian youth was sentenced to 18 years in prison for allegedly throwing a rock at a car that caused the death of an Israeli -- representing the harshest sentence ever handed down for stone-throwing.

Meanwhile, despite having more rights on paper than Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank who are subject to a draconian military detention system, in practice, Jerusalem minors “do not enjoy their enshrined rights” under a discriminatory Israeli civilian court system, rights group Defense for Children International - Palestine has said.

According to Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, 300 Palestinian children under the age of 18 are currently held in Israeli prisons, out of a total of 6,279 Palestinian prisoners.
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