Each year, Israelis are faced with some 1,000 terror attacks involving rocks being thrown at them. While most incidents end with property damage only, these rocks have injured and killed a number of innocent Israeli civilians. Now, those responsible for throwing these deadly rocks will face stricter punishment.
The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved on Sunday Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked’s draft law to aggravate the punishment of rock throwers.
The law is intended to address incidents to which the current law does not pertain, like throwing rocks at public transportation or at police vehicles with no proof of intent to harm by the attackers. The new law now places the onus on the attacker and states that he must prove he had intent other than to cause harm when he threw the rock.
The amendment cites that an offender can be sentenced to 10 years in prison without the prosecutor being required to prove that the offender intended to cause harm when he threw the stone.
Israeli law currently states that a prosecutor must provide proof of the assailant’s intent to cause harm for the terrorist to receive the maximum sentence prescribed by law – 20 years in prison. In practice, such intent is difficult to prove legally, and so terrorists have been receiving a much lighter sentence of about two years.
The measure, which was introduced by Shaked’s predecessor Tzipi Livni, was okayed by the cabinet last year but failed to become law.
“Anyone who throws rocks at people and cars needs to assume that someone will be hurt,” Shaked stated, “A rock can kill.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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