Palestinian stone throwers face up to 20 years in jail
Critics say the new Israeli law only targets Palestinians protesters, but spares Israeli settlers [EPA]
The Israeli parliament has approved a law that imposes up to 20 years in prison on people convicted of throwing rocks at moving vehicles, drawing condemnation from Palestinian activists and officials.
“This law is not about stone-throwing. It is about repressing any form of Palestinian resistance or protest to Israeli colonisation and occupation,” Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website that runs articles and resources on Palestinian struggle, said in an interview on Tuesday.
He said that while, Israel continues to target Palestinians, shooting deaths of Palestinian protesters were committed “with absolutely no consequences whatsover”.
Late on Monday, Israeli lawmakers voted 69 to 17 to increase the punishments, approving legislation proposed after a wave of Palestinian protests last year in East Jerusalem.
Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoner Club, an organisation that advocates on behalf of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, said the new law was “racist”.
“This law is hateful and contradicts the most basic rule that the punishment fit the offence,” he said.
Arab lawmaker Jamal Zahalka accused the parliament of hypocrisy, saying stone throwing is an answer to abuses by Israeli security forces.
He said: “You are picking on the person responding to major injustices.”
For More: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/07/palestinian-stone-throwers-face-20-years-jail-150721182722412.html