Sunday, November 01, 2020

Israel introduces a range of harsh measures to combat stone-throwing

By Cath And - September 25, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Israeli Justice System]

The Israeli Security Cabinet voted unanimously Thursday to introduce a range of harsh measures against those who stone throwers.


The Security Cabinet has given Israeli police permission to use low-powered sniper rifles against stone-throwers, and has introduced a four-year minimum sentence for those convicted of throwing stones and firebombs. This legislation will remain in effect for three years, Haaretz reports.  


The use of sniper rifles by Israeli police has previously been permitted in cases where the officer’s own life was in immediate danger. The new legislation allows police to use sniper rifles in response to threats posed to any life.  


The new measures also include harsher punishments for minors. Children aged 14 to 18 can now face time in prison for throwing stones and firebombs. On top of this, their parents can face fines, and child welfare benefits may be revoked.


In July, the Israeli parliament passed a law to introduce prison sentences of up to 20 years for stone-throwers. With the security cabinet’s new measures, a minimum four year prison sentence will be imposed upon convicted adults.


This legislation comes at a time of heightened tension in Jerusalem and the West Bank and weeks of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians due to entry restrictions at Al Aqsa mosque.


The numbers of Israeli forces present in Jerusalem has increased exponentially during this time as Netanyahu has been making bids to alter the rules of engagement for police.


The new legislation does not apply to the West Bank, where Israeli military law is in effect, Reuters reports.


At the end of the Security Cabinet’s meeting, Netanyahu stated, “we intend to change the norm that has become established [here], that the state of Israel allows these deadly and murderous objects to be thrown without response and without being thwarted. This will change.”


On Sunday, in response to an Israeli citizen who died after his car was hit by stones, Netanyahu tweeted an image of his own statement, declaring, “stones and firebombs are deadly weapons; they kill and have killed...whoever tries to attack us, we will hurt him.”


On Sept. 16, Netanyahu tweeted that he was “declaring war on stone throwers.”


Israeli rights group B'Tselem has stated that the use of live fire against stone-throwers will "exacerbate the cycle of violence with lethal results," Ma’an News Agency, reported.



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