Committee Deplores Knesset’s Approval of Minimum Sentence for Throwing Rocks

RAMALLAH, November 3, 2015 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Committee denounced a new Israeli draft law to impose a minimum of three years in jail sentence on Palestinian children who throw rocks at Israelis, passed in its second and third reading on Monday by the Israeli Knesset.

According to the Times of Israel, ‘The Knesset on Monday enacted minimum prison terms for rock-throwing attacks against vehicles or pedestrians.’ The draft law raised the minimum prison sentence for rock throwing to three years, it said.

“The law also strips parents of a minor imprisoned for rock throwing of welfare grants and other benefits linked to the minor for the duration of the incarceration,” it reported.

The minimum sentences are allegedly meant “to create deterrence,” said Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky, chair of the Knesset’s Constitution Law and Justice Committee.

The committee argued that the new approved law, which violates all international norms and conventions, comes as part of the series of punitive and racist measures taken against the Palestinian people in an aim to deprive the Palestinian children from their right to exercise their rights; in an attempt to kill their sense of belonging to their land.

However, Joint Arab List MK Jamal Zahalka said that, “You can’t quench a fire with diesel fuel,” adding that, “This law is fuel on the fire.”

Regarding stripping parents of rock-throwers of their benefits, Zahalka said that, “There is no logic to punishing a father whose son threw a stone and didn’t hit anything, while the father of a child who stabs his friend in school goes unpunished.”