Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

( Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet approved on Thursday immediate steps to combat stone and Molotov cocktail throwers. A new, three-year temporary order sets the minimum penalty of four years in prison for adults who throw stones and Molotov cocktails. Judges may deviate from the minimum sentences but must provide reasons for it. The Attorney General recommended imposing the new law for only one year; but the cabinet did receive the AG’s opinion that judges should be permitted to impose lighter sentences than the minimum, if they can explain the mitigating circumstances.

The security cabinet also decided to allow the police to open fire not only when they are threatened, but when there’s danger to the life of another person. In addition, increased fines and minimum fines were imposed on minors who disturb the public order and on their parents. Parents of imprisoned minors will not be entitled to receive social benefits.


Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agreed at a meeting of the security cabinet to give police officers serving in east Jerusalem a monetary grant similar to the one received by officers serving at the northern border. The Police finds it difficult to find officers who are willing to serve in east Jerusalem because of the danger and attrition involved. Arden told Israel Radio he hopes the move would help police recruitment.

The Prime Minister added that in his statement that Israel calls on the Palestinian Authority stop its wild incitement to Arab violence. He stressed that all the claims by PA officials, including by its Chairman, about Israel’s intention to harm Islamic holy places are nonsense.

Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the next few weeks will entirely change the security reality of stone and Molotov cocktail throwing, thanks to Thursday’s decision of the security cabinet. He told Israel Radio that these steps should put out the volcano before it erupts.

Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Camp) attacked validity of the decision of the security cabinet’s stringent measures against stone and Molotov cocktail throwers, saying it was “too little and too late.” According to Herzog, Netanyahu again creates headlines and makes the sounds of doing something instead of actually doing anything. Herzog added that the security forces have plenty of measures and that is not the source of problem.


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