A 15-year-old Palestinian was yesterday sentenced to four months in jail and fined 3,000 shekels ($830) for stone-throwing.
Israel’s Salem military court in the north of the occupied West Bank, issued its verdict against Abdul-Jaber Yasin 25 days after he was arrested on 3 May in Asira al-Qibliya.
Palestinian children are subject to a different set of legal rules than Israeli children in the Israeli justice system: longer periods of detention without charge, a lower minimum age for custodial sentences, and a lack of access to their parents or legal representatives during questioning, amongst others.
Recently, a 16-year-old Israeli teenager who was convicted of killing Palestinian mother of eight Aisha Al-Rabi was released to house arrest, avoiding jail time with a maximum sentence of 20 years. The settler teen – who cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order – was charged in January with manslaughter, aggravated stone throwing and intentional sabotage of a vehicle “in the context of a terrorist act”.
Meanwhile, throwing stones is the most common charge against Palestinian children, and it carries a maximum penalty ranging from ten to 20 years.
According to B’Tselem, “from the beginning of 2005 to the end of 2010, at least 835 Palestinian minors were arrested and tried in military courts in the West Bank on charges of stone throwing”. In addition, as of the end of April 2019, 205 Palestinian minors were held in Israeli prisons as security detainees and prisoners, including 2 administrative detainees.
Defense for Children International (DCI) Palestine adds that “each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12 years, are detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The most common charge is stone throwing”.