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835 young Palestinians held for stone-throwing: activists

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 18 Jul 2011 17:47 GMT
Author: Reuters
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JERUSALEM, July 18 (Reuters) - Israel has over the past five years arrested 835 Palestinian youths for stone-throwing, sentencing most of them to prison time, a rights organisation said in a report on Monday.

The Israeli group B&${esc.hash}39;Tselem said the military mistreated and violated the rights of the youths, most between the ages 16-17, but some as young as 12-13. Their jail time ranged from a few days to a year.

They were arrested between 2005 and 2010.

The report, based on court cases and interviews, said that Israeli military law applying to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank does not provide the same protection to minors as Israeli law and laws in other countries.

Israel&${esc.hash}39;s military called the report unbalanced, saying that it ignored the fact that minors are often exploited by militant groups in a manner that violates international law. It also said the arrests and convictions deter others from throwing stones.

Israel&${esc.hash}39;s military has set up a special court to deal with cases involving minors and to help improve the protection of their rights, though B&${esc.hash}39;Tselem said the court brought limited change.

Young Palestinians in the West Bank are often arrested by Israeli forces for throwing stones during protests or clashes. (Writing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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