Palestinian stone-throwers face 20 years in jail
The Israeli regime has adopted a law allowing tough penalties of up to 20 years in jail for Palestinians throwing stones at vehicles.
The Israeli Knesset or parliament passed the law on Monday with lawmakers voting 69 to 17 to impose punishment of up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones at vehicles.
The bill, which was originally drafted by former minister of judicial affairs Tzipi Livni and later completed by her successor Ayelet Shaked, allows for maximum incarceration without need for any proof indicating harmful intent on the part of the stone-thrower.
After the bill was approved, Shaked claimed that “justice was done.” She went on to draw a parallel between stone-throwers and terrorists, claiming, “Tolerance toward terrorists ends today. A stone-thrower is a terrorist.”
Human rights defenders, however, have blasted the Knesset for passing the new law.
“This law is insane. It is only the latest in a long series of Israeli violations against the Palestinian people,” said Fuad al-Khafsh, director of the Ahrar Center for Research and Human Rights.
“Israeli laws are becoming harsher. But this won’t stop Palestinian youth … from resisting the occupation,” he added.
Human rights advocate Qadura Fares, who is also head of the Palestinian Prisoner Club, described the new law as “hateful”, adding that the law violates the basic rule of all legal motions requiring proportion between crimes and punishment.
“This law is hateful and contradicts the most basic rule that the punishment fit the offence,” he said.
Each year hundreds of Palestinians are sentenced to jail for throwing stones, according to the Israeli Knesset.