Cabinet Toughens Sentences for Rock-Throwers

Prime Minister's instructions for prison time of up to 20 years approved by cabinet, as gov't tries to stamp out Jerusalem violence.

Ari Soffer ,

Riot in Shuafat, 2.7.2014
Riot in Shuafat, 2.7.2014
Flash 90

The cabinet approved Sunday morning approved an amendment to the penal code designed to toughen punishment for throwing stones at motor vehicles.

From today, new articles will be added to the penal code to allow for the imposition of sentences of up to 20 years for throwing or casting rocks or other objects at a motor vehicle.

It follow's instructions issued last Monday to stiffen punishments for rock-throwers by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, during a special cabinet meeting to discuss ongoing Arab violence in Jerusalem

"Israel is taking vigorous action against terrorists and those who throw stones, fire bombs and fireworks," Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting. "We will also pass stronger legislation on the issue. All of this is in order to restore quiet and security throughout Jerusalem.

"I have ordered that massive reinforcements be brought in and that additional means be used in order to ensure law and order in Israel's capital."

Rocks hurled by rioters have caused serious injury and even death in the past, particularly when targeting speeding cars.

Children are particularly vulnerable to such attacks, and scores of Israeli children and scores of Israeli infants have been wounded or killed by Arab extremists in such attacks. Although often referred to as "stone-throwers," projectiles hurled by attackers can range from fist-sized rocks to bricks, chunks of concrete and cinder blocks.

Fireworks are also increasingly being used as a weapon of choice by Arab rioters - targeting both security forces and Jewish homes in mixed neighborhoods.