Knesset: Three years of prison for stone-hurlers, minimum

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Knesset (Israeli parliament) on Monday has approved “minimum prison terms” for the Palestinian protesters who hurl stones.

 The lawmakers approved a series of amendments to the Israeli Criminal Law, raising the minimum prison sentence for rock throwing to three years.

According to the Jpost, parents of a minor imprisoned for stone throwing will now be denied Israeli benefits for the minor for the period of the incarceration.

 

The law was passed as a “temporary provision” that must be renewed by the Knesset in three years’ time.

“Setting minimum sentences is an extraordinary step,” the bill’s own explanatory preface says. “But the uniqueness of the [rock-throwing] phenomenon and its scale, which have expanded of late, justify as an extraordinary measure the establishment of minimum punishments in this case as a temporary provision,” it states.

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.

Throwing a stone is attempted murder, and it is appropriate that it has a minimum sentence,” he said, railing against the assumption of ‘It’s just a rock.’”

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

Zahalka also railed against the cancellation of some benefits for the parents of imprisoned minors. “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.”