Author: Euromid Observer
The Israeli Knesset has passed an evening a bill allowing Palestinian youths convicted of throwing stones at Israeli occupation forces a maximum 20 years in prison, Israeli media reported.
The bill stipulates that youths who throw stones at vehicles can be sent to prison for up to 10 years even without proof of harmful intent in their actions, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
According to the Times of Israel, the bill won the approval of 69 MKs and was opposed by 17, following a stormy Knesset debate.
In the wake of the approval, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said: "Today, justice was done. For years, terrorists avoided punishment and responsibility. Tolerance towards terrorists ends today."
She added: "A stone thrower is a terrorist, and only an appropriate punishment can be deterrent, punitive and just."
The Times of Israel reported Arab MK of the Joint List Jamal Zahalka slamming the bill, labelling it hypocritical and unjust.
"Imagine bringing before a truly just judge the stone thrower as well as those responsible for him throwing the stones. Who would the judge put in jail? The one destroying [the stone thrower's] home, expropriating lands, killing his brother, or the boy who threw a stone?" he asked.
"You are picking on the person who responded to the major injustices, such hypocrisy," he said during the heated discussion of the bill.
"Those who demolish homes receive medals, but the boy who's anger is justified is imposed with punishments," he said, "there is no justice in this law."
Source: Middle East Monitor