New Phase in War against Rock-Throwers

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Social Affairs Minister Chaim Katz (Likud) will on Thursday outline a new bill penalizing parents of minors who engage in violence such as rock-throwing and firebombings.

The penalties will apply to parents of minors convicted and handed prison sentences for their role in violent attacks.

Among them will be cuts to child allowances and other government benefits to parents whose children have been convicted of rock-throwing.

Additionally, Justice Minister Shaked is expected to enact a temporary order mandating a tougher minimum sentence for rock-throwers. The new minimum sentence will be one-fifth of the maximum sentence, and would constitute a significant step in the right direction for legislators urging lengthier prison sentences for rioters.

For example, rock-throwers convicted of intent to cause bodily harm – a crime which can warrant a maximum sentence of 20 years – will automatically be jailed for a minimum of four years.

In a statement following the end of Yom Kippur Wednesday night, Shaked announced that the bill would hit parents whose children engage in violence "in the most important place – their pocket."

Shaked noted that around 50% of indictments submitted by prosecutors in Jerusalem over rock-throwing attacks are youths and children still under the guardianship of their parents.

"This is a widespread and very sensitive phenomenon, and those who must take responsibility are, without a doubt, the parents," she stated.

Shaked added that the measures would also prevent children "caught up in a false, inciting ideology, from descending into the cycle of crime."

"Similarly, (for) children who have been sentenced for acts of terrorism, there is no reason why the State should continue to give them allowances and benefits."

Haim Katz also commented on the planned bill Wednesday night.

"The time has come for parents to take responsibility for their children and act to prevent them from carrying out such crimes," he said.

It comes as Israel has been wracked by over a week of Arab riots in and around Jerusalem, with politicians and security forces seeking new measures to punish those responsible and deter others from taking part in the violence.

Dozens of suspected rioters have been arrested in a police crackdown, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other senior government ministers are pushing to grant police additional powers to deal with rioters, including permission to deploy special sniper teams for use against rioters posing a serious threat.

Another bill has also been tabled which would mandate a minimum two-year sentence for anyone convicted of throwing rocks or molotov cocktails.

A 64-year-old Israeli grandfather was murdered last Sunday in a rock attack, and several others have been injured.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/201001

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