The Israeli Ministry of Justice has finished drafting an amendment to the law prohibiting the throwing of stones at Israeli vehicles, military vehicles and police vehicles. The proposed amendment provides for stone throwers to be sentenced for up to 20 years in prison.
The amendments do not require Israeli prosecutors to prove that the stone throwing caused any danger. The preamble to the draft alleges that the current laws make it difficult for the Israeli judiciary to issue deterrent sentences against stone throwers. It justifies the new amendments on the grounds that current laws compel the prosecution to make a list of other charges besides stone throwing in order to convince the court to impose rulings against defendants.
The amendment mandates two sentences for throwing stones: a 10 year sentence when danger is posed for passing vehicles and the flow of traffic; and a 20 year sentence in cases when it is proven that assailants intended to endanger their targets.
Haaretz newspaper said that the new bill targets Palestinian citizens who live in Israel and are subject to Israeli laws. Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to the laws of occupation and military tribunals, which impose even harsher sentences.
Report from Nazareth by Barhoum Jaraisi