Israel’s lawmakers have voted to impose a minimum three-year jail sentence on stone throwers, just weeks after the premier vowed “war” on those who pelt security forces with rocks.
The law was approved by 57 votes against 17. The law comes as a surge of unrest in Israel and the occupied West Bank has entered its second month, with violence on both sides resulting inÂ nine israelis and 69 palestinians killed. One israeli arab has also been killed.
The new legislation was backed by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who declared “war” in September on stone throwers.
Netanyahu pledged tougher penalties after a 65-year-old Israeli died when he lost control of his car, with police saying the accident in east Jerusalem was caused by Palestinian strone throwing.
Since then Palestinian protesters have stepped up attacks with stones against Israeli security forces and civilians in the West Bank and in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
The law adopted by the Knesset stipulates that judges would only be able to issue suspended sentences to stone throwers in exceptional circumstances.
It also adds rocks to the list of “harmful tools” in the country’s penal code.