Knesset Approves Harsher Punishments for Rock Throwing
The Knesset on Monday evening approved the second and third readings of a bill that toughens the punishment handed out to rock throwers. 69 MKs voted in favor of the bill, while 17 voted against.
The law stipulates that the offense of obstructing an officer by throwing rocks or other objects is punishable by five years in prison. The law also establishes a hierarchy of punishment for offenses involving the throwing of rocks or other objects at a vehicle in motion.
MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, introduced the bill at the discussion and said, “David killed Goliath, the strongest Philistine, using a rock. In other words: rocks kill. Hundreds of cases involving such crimes are discussed in the courts.”
Slomiansky noted that rock-throwing “endangers human life and sows fear among the public, and we must act aggressively to eradicate it. The courts give very light punishments in relation to the penalties set by the legislature even in the most serious cases, and the legislature must render assistance to law enforcement agencies, and convey an unequivocal message on this issue.”
Arutz Sheva has frequently reported about rock attacks, which have become frequent occurrences in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in recent years, but are ignored by most mainstream news outlets.
Such rock attacks can be lethal and are often carried out by terrorists with that intention. An example of this occurred just a week ago, when a Jewish couple narrowly averted death when terrorists threw rocks at their car as it was travelling in central Israel, on Highway 6 that crosses Israel from north to south.
During the debate on the law on Monday, Arab MKs from the Joint Arab List voiced strong objections to the bill.
“Imagine that we bring before a judge a person who threw rocks and a person who made them throw rocks,” MK Jamal Zahalka said. “Who will the judge put in jail? The person who destroyed the home, expropriated the land, killed the brother, or the boy who threw a rock [in response]? You pick on a person who responds to major injustices – what hypocrisy. Those who destroy homes get a medal but the child that whose anger is justified is penalized. There is no justice in this bill.”
MK Hanin Zoabi attacked the law as well, using the opportunity to lash out at IDF soldiers.
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