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Long sentences for Palestinian stone-throwers

Israeli Knesset approves long prison sentences for Palestinian stone-throwers

By Leslie Bravery | Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand

Legislation to impose harsher sentences on Palestinian stone-throwers passed into law on Monday night (20 July 2015) in the Israeli Knesset. Israeli Justice Minister AyeletShaked commented "A stone-thrower is a terrorist and only an appropriate punishment can serve as deterrence." The injustice behind the legislation was made clear as MK Jamal Zahalka told Knesset members "Imagine we brought both the stone-throwers and those who caused them to throw stones, in front of a judge. Who would the judge put in prison? The one who demolished a house, expropriated the land, killed the brother? Or the boy who threw a stone?”Another MK, Ahmad Tibi, added: "There is an order in theArmy that if soldiers arrive at a place where Jews are protesting and one of the protesters jumps the soldiers, they are not allowed to shoot him because he's Jewish. Under the same circumstances, when it's Arabs, they shoot to kill. 'Neutralise,' they call it. That is why a Palestinian is doomed even if he throws a non-lethal stone."

What sort of penalty should apply then, to Israel's leaders and military for using the regime's fighter jets and artillery to fire missiles on people, schools, hospitals and ambulances in Gaza? When will Israel's leaders be brought to account for forcing people out of their homes in the West Bank in order to conduct military 'exercises'? If throwing stones should be punished with 20 years imprisonment, then by that measure, even a life sentence would not suffice for Israel's violent invasions of Palestinian homes in the middle of the night and the abductions, at gunpoint, of terrified children. The Zionist regime's leaders answer to nobody for their crimes. According to video evidence released by the Yesh Din human rights group and published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israeli soldiers do nothing to stop stone-throwing settlers.

It's not just stones. More video evidence published in theGuardian proves that the Israeli Army is complicit in standing by while illegal settlers open fire on, as well as stone, Palestinian villagers. A video filmed by Israel human rights organisation, B’Tselem, volunteers shows two Israeli settlers driving in Occupied Hebron, where Palestinians live but are not allowed to drive — the video shows the Israeli police letting the stone-throwing settlers just drive away. It is certain that there will be no 20-year sentences for stone-throwing settlers and because of a lack of will on the part of Western political leaders, so far, no calling to account for Israel's leaders either.

© Scoop Media

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