Ministers approve bill to punish terrorists under age 14

March 27, 2016 20:36

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked proposed the bill after terrorists after 12 and 13-year-old Palestinian cousins stabbed a Jerusalem Light Rail security guard.

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Ayelet Shaked, nouvelle ministre de la Justice

Ayelet Shaked, nouvelle ministre de la Justice. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Legislation allowing courts to sentence minors under age 14 to a future prison sentence for manslaughter or murder was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked proposed the bill after terrorists, 12- and 13-year-old Palestinian cousins, stabbed a Jerusalem Light Rail security guard in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood last November.

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“Unfortunately, terrorism does not have an age, and today there are no punishments matching the cruel reality we face,” Shaked said.

“In order to create a deterrent and a change in reality, we must make the necessary changes.”

According to Shaked, the bill “gives minors the special protection they need, while giving a serious response to terrorists who think that the courts and justice will not reach them.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud), who has a PhD in criminology specializing in Palestinian terrorism, proposed a similar bill last year that passed a preliminary Knesset reading.

“My research shows clearly that the central motive for acts of terrorism by minors is that they are prompted to do so by older people, who tell them Israel won’t put them in jail and will send them home in a short time,” she said.

“This distortion will come to an end soon,” Berko added.

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