The Security Cabinet unanimously approved new measures Thursday night against terrorists who hurl stones, firecrackers, fireworks, stun grenades and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at Israeli civilians and security personnel.
“The security cabinet has decided to authorize police to use live ammunition against people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails when the life of a third person is threatened and no longer only when a police officer is threatened,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The cabinet approved the use of .22 Ruger sniper rifles against rioters hurling stones, who endanger others, and live fire in any case in which lives are endangered.
Stiffened penalties include a mandatory minimum four-year prison sentence and a fine for convicted stone-throwers ages 14-18. Also approved was an evaluation of possibly fining the parents of convicted children ages 12 to 14.
“In Israel, these murderous objects won’t be thrown unanswered and without prevention,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tweeted following the cabinet vote.
However, children under age 12 cannot be held accountable for crimes under current Israeli law. With the rise in terror attacks, there has also been a corresponding escalation in the number of Arab 10 year olds who are being caught throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and police officers as well.Hana Levi Julian