Palestinian youth sentenced to 18 years in prison, as Jerusalemite faces similar fate

12:00 Nov 21 2016 Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- An Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced 19-year-old Subhi Abu Khalifa from the Shufat refugee camp in the occupied West Bank’s Jerusalem district to 18 years in prison for committing a stabbing attack in Jerusalem last year that left two Israelis injured.

Hebrew news websites reported on Monday that Abu Khalifa was sentenced on attempted murder charges for the October 2015 attack that left an Israeli student seriously injured and another lightly injured.

Meanwhile, the family of Palestinian prisoner Abed Dwiyaat, 20, told Ma’an that their lawyer had reached an agreement with Israeli prosecution, suggesting that Dwiyaat would be sentenced to 18 years in prison for causing the death of an Israeli man after throwing rocks at his vehicle.

64-year-old Alexander Levlovich died after he lost control of his car when a stone was thrown at it on Sept. 13, 2015 on a street in the Sur Bahir neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Dwiyaat was arrested shortly after the incident, along with four others, identified as Muhammad Salah Abu Kaf, Muhammad Jihad al-Tawil, Walid Firas al-Atrash, and Ali Sabra. Dwiyaat was considered the main suspect out of the five.

His mother told Ma’an that that the agreement with the Israeli prosecution would also include a fine on the family. She added that a court session was set to be held on Dec. 19 to officially issue the sentence.

Abu Khalifa and Dwiyaat are the latest Palestinian youths to be sentenced by Israeli courts for their actions since a wave of violence began last fall -- which to date has left a total of 242 Palestinians and 36 Israelis killed.

14-year-old Ahmad Manasra was sentenced earlier this month to 12 years in Israeli prison after he was charged with attempted murder for carrying out a stabbing attack on Oct. 12, 2015 that left two Israelis seriously injured. In addition, the court imposed a fine on his family of 180,000 shekels ($47,187).

In July 2015, legislation was passed in the Israeli Knesset allowing sentencing for up to 20 years for someone convicted of throwing stones at vehicles if intent to harm could be proven. However, the law allows the Israeli state to imprison someone for up to 10 years without proof of intent.

The vast majority of those detained for throwing stones at Israelis are Palestinian minors.

In 2015, Israel established legislation allowing the sentencing of Palestinians to a minimum of three years in prison for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli. Included in the legislation were provisions allowing Israeli authorities to strip stone throwers in East Jerusalem of their state benefits and cancel access to national health insurance and social services for the families of the accused.

According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), proposals were also underway to allow Israeli authorities to hand down life sentences to children under the age of 14.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a September report that at least 1,000 Palestinian minors between the ages of 11 and 18 had been detained by Israel since January, a number of whom reported being abused and tortured while in detention.

According to prisoners’ rights groups Addameer, a total of 400 Palestinian minors were incarcerated in Israeli prisons as of October.
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