The Israeli government approved new legislation on Sunday morning, amending the penal code in an effort to deter rock-throwers by stiffening the punishment against them for ambushing motor vehicles.
As of today, a number of new articles are to be added to the penal code, to allow for prison sentences of up to 20 years for anyone caught ambushing vehicles with rock throwing or casting other objects at moving cars.
The move follows instructions issued on Monday to stiffen punishments for rock-throwers by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As Netanyahu said in a press conference, “Israel is taking vigorous action against terrorists and those who throw stones, fire bombs and fireworks. We will also pass stronger legislation on the issue. All of this is in order to restore quiet and security throughout Jerusalem. I have ordered that massive reinforcements be brought in and that additional means be used in order to ensure law and order in Israel’s capital.”
Unfortunately, rocks and other objects, including fireworks and Molotov cocktails, have caused serious injury as well as deaths in the past, in addition to extensive damage to the cars of motorists who frequent the roads in Israel.
Children are considered to be most at risk, as many have been injured and killed by Arab extremists who throw the rocks.
The phenomenon of rock throwing has increased greatly recently throughout mixed neighborhoods in East Jerusalem where both Arabs and Jews live.
Many Israeli officials are playing down the fact that the intensifying of the rock attacks may be part of a bigger “3rd Intifada,” which has been incited and even allegedly orchestrated by President Abbas from the Palestinian Authority.
As it stands, the new state-of-the-art Jerusalem light rail service, which runs through Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, has been vandalized and damaged daily by rock-throwers, who target the service as well as the passengers on board.