An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced on Wednesday, March 16, seven Palestinian minors to jail time ranging from 12 to 39 months for alleged stone-throwing, said a lawyer with Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer. Advocate Muhammad Mahmoud said the Jerusalem court had convicted the children of throwing stones at Israeli cars in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
Mahmoud said that the sentenced included three boys aged 14 years old, two aged 16, one aged 17, and another whose age was not specified. Saleh Ashraf Ishtayya, 16, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, while Muhammad Ahmad Jaber and Murad Raed Alqam, both 14, were sentenced to three years. Muhammad Na’el Tayeh, 17, and Zaid Ayed al-Taweel, 16, were both sentenced to two years and four months in prison, Omar Rani Yaseen, 14, received a one-year sentence, and Yazan Hani Ayoub, was sentenced to one year and two months in prison. All seven minors spent eight months under house arrest before their sentencing, Mahmoud said.
They were originally detained in June, before they were released on bail under house arrest after spending two weeks in Israel’s Russian Compound detention center. Mahmoud added that the court held several hearings until the final sentencing was announced, and that he planned to appeal the case in higher Israeli courts. In response to the sentencing, the head of the Jerusalem Committee for Prisoners’ Families, Amjad Abu Asab, told Ma’an news agency that Israel’s ruling against the seven minors was “illegal and unfair.” He accused the court of being influenced by Netanyahu’s threats against Palestinian children in Jerusalem. In an earlier report, Addameer found that the most common charge levied against Palestinian children is stone throwing, a crime that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
After a wave of violence swept through the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel starting in the beginning of October, Israeli forces began increasing the detention of children. According to Addameer, the number of Palestinian children in Israeli detention has nearly tripled since last summer, with 450 in Israeli jails as of February, as opposed to 155 at the end of August.