The Knesset Plenum passed in second and third (final) readings a temporary law making three years in prison the minimum penalty for dangerous rock throwing.
The legislation proposed by the Justice Ministry states that the minimum jail sentence cannot be less than one-fifth of the maximum sentence, 15 years, and the court will not be able to sentence a rock-thrower to a suspended sentence, except in special circumstances.
The law, which was passed in a 51-17 vote, also adds rocks to the list of ”harmful tools” in the penal code.
Anyone convicted of rock-throwing will not receive National Insurance Institute benefits while he is in prison.
If a child is convicted of a security crime or of rock-throwing, his parents will not receive NII benefits while he is serving his sentence.
The explanatory portion of law, which was passed as a ”temporary provision” that must be renewed by the Knesset in three years’ time, states that ”in light of the spread of the rock-throwing phenomenon lately, and the many dangers it poses to [people] and property, it is suggested to make amendments, mainly increasing the punishment against those who throw rocks at moving vehicles and pedestrians, by way of setting a temporary order within the Criminal Law.”
While presenting the bill, Knesset Law, Constitution and Justice Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said that ”the punishment for throwing rocks is far from reflecting the ramifications and the death they cause. A minimum punishment is necessary to create a deterrent and uproot the assumption that ‘it’s just a stone.’” He added that ”Throwing a rock is an attempt to murder and there should at least be a minimum punishment.”
MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List) criticized the law, saying ”fires cannot be put out with gas, and this law is throwing gas on a fire.”
According to Zahalka, ”there is no logic in punishing a father whose son threw a rock…while the father of a child who stabbed his friend in school won’t be punished.”