Photo Credit: Flash 90
A Palestinian Arab winds up a slingshot before throwing a rock towards Israeli soldiers.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told senior officials on Monday to prepare a new law that would call for up to 20 years in jail for attacks cars and people with rocks and for economic sanctions on parents of offenders who are minors.

Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a rock, as most residents in Judea and Samaria outside of Maaleh Adumim have been, knows the sound of the body of their cars being smacked, a window smashed , or their own bodies being bloodied and their bones broken by rocks.

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In the best possible scenario, the driver is able to continue to driving, often with one less window. In the worst possible case, the terrorist, often a teenager, gets “lucky” and the driver is killed after being struck by the rock or flying glass and losing control of the vehicle until it crashes.

In between there are hundreds of cases of people having being wounded, often for life.

Arabs popularized throwing rocks in the beginning of the intifada more than 25 years ago. They won great headlines for causing havoc on the highways and being faced by rifle-toting soldiers.

It is the kind of David and Goliath story that foreign media love, especially when it can disgrace Israel.

“Proportionate” response, the favorite policy of the West when the Arabs are losing, would require soldiers and police to lay down their weapons and throw rocks back at the youth.

But that won’t help because then the media would complain that the Israelis have an unfair edge, deploying adults against children. Furthermore, the police wear protective gear. It’s not a fair fight if Israeli wins.

Netanyahu has come up with a better weapon than guns – jail. Throwing rocks at passing cars is attempted murder, nothing more and nothing less.

The police and IDF have arrested thousands of rock throwers. Most of them are released after detention or simply given a slap on the wrist by the judicial system, which goes to the extreme to avoid convicting a minor for disturbing the peace.

Netanyahu’s directive would change that, assuming Peace Now does not win an appeal to the Supreme Court that jailing rock-throwers violates their human rights.

 

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.