Stone-throwers could be jailed for up to 20 years under a controversial new law passed by Israeli MPs.
The new legislation – supported by Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government – was passed by the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, despite bitter criticisms from Arab parliamentarians who said it was aimed at oppressing Palestinian protest.
The maximum 20-year term will apply in cases where there is proof that offenders intended to inflict harm.
Sentences of up to 10 years could be passed down to those convicted of throwing stones at civilian vehicles without prosecutors having to prove an intention of causing harm.
Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Right-wing justice minister – who spearheaded the legislation, described its law’s passage as “justice done”. ”
“For years, terrorists avoided punishment and responsibility. Tolerance towards terrorists ends today,” she said. “A stone thrower is a terrorist, and only an appropriate punishment can be deterrent, punitive and just.”
The new law was an amended version of a bill provisionally passed by the Knesset last year under the guidance of Tzipi Livni, Ms Shaked’s predecessor as justice minister.
Ms Shaked said the previous bill – which was never enacted – needed to be amended because it insisted on a need to prove intent, making it hard to pass tough sentences.
Read more: telegraph.co.uk