New amendment seeks stiffer punishment for stone throwers

Current law requires proving a suspect’s specific intent to harm people, not just that the suspect threw a rock, resulting in short sentences for often dangerous crimes.

June 24, 2014 03:43
1 minute read.
Palestinian throwing stones at Israeli border police near Nablus, March 29, 2013.

Palestinian throwing stones at Israeli border police 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)


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The Justice Ministry confirmed Monday that it is guiding an amendment to laws against rock throwing for cabinet approval, to give harsher sentences to terrorists who throw rocks at moving vehicles.

Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit has reportedly invested significant time on the amendment.

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The preamble to the amendment states that current law does not sufficiently distinguish between punishments for more dangerous rock throwing (such as at moving vehicles) and less dangerous stoning (such as at stationary soldiers from a distance).

The preamble says that whereas low-grade rock throwing may pose very little danger to a soldier, rock throwing at passing vehicles has led to deaths and serious injury and deserves harsher punishment.

It notes that dangerous rock throwers sometimes receive short sentences of a few months in jail, because the current law requires proving a suspect’s specific intent to harm people, not just that the suspect threw a rock.

The amendment mandates sentencing rock throwers who lacked a specific intent to harm to a maximum of 10 years in prison (a major increase) and assailants with specific intent to harm to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment. The amendment also includes a five-year sentence for stone throwing at police vehicles.

The preamble notes that around 1,000 indictments for stone throwing are submitted each year.

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