PM to push for mandatory minimum sentences for rock-throwers
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PM to push for mandatory minimum sentences for rock-throwers

After fatal Jerusalem attack, Temple Mount violence, Netanyahu to propose legislation at emergency meeting Tuesday

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. (Menahem Kahana/Pool photo via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. (Menahem Kahana/Pool photo via AP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering fast-tracking legislation that would introduce mandatory minimum sentences for suspects convicted of throwing stones and firebombs.

According to a Channel 2 report, the PM will propose the legislation at an emergency cabinet meeting Tuesday evening, once the Jewish New Year holiday is over. The meeting will address deterrent measures against rock-throwers and will be attended by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and representatives from the security forces.

The emergency meeting comes after a series of violent incidents over the holiday, including a rock-throwing attack that led to a fatal car crash in Jerusalem Sunday night and riots on the Temple Mount.

“The prime minister sees incidents of rock-throwing and firebomb attacks against Israeli citizens as very severe and intends to fight this phenomenon with every available measure including stiffening punishments [for such crimes],” according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Alexander Levlovitz, the man who died whe he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at the vehicle in Jerusalem. Levlovitz died early in the hours of Monday morning, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on September 14, 2015. (Courtesy)
Alexander Levlovitz, the man who died whe he lost control of his car and crashed after terrorists threw rocks at the vehicle in Jerusalem. Levlovitz died early in the hours of Monday morning, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on September 14, 2015. (Courtesy)

On Sunday night, an Israeli man, Alexander Levlovitz, and two other passengers traveling in his car in Jerusalem, came under attack by rock-throwers, causing Levlovitz, to run into a ditch and hit a pole. He died of his wounds Monday morning.

Also on Monday, a young Israeli man sustained light injuries after coming under a rock-throwing attack in the capital. He was treated at the scene and released.

On the Temple Mount on Monday, masked protesters attacked police with stones and metal rods for a second day, before fleeing into the al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the site.

Police on Sunday discovered pipe bombs during what they said was a preemptive operation at the Mount as Israel geared up to celebrate the Jewish new year.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an IDF base on March 10, 2015. (photo credit: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an IDF base on March 10, 2015. (photo credit: Ohad Zwigenberg)

Clashes between Muslim visitors and Israeli police frequently occur on the Mount, which is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third-holiest. Visits by Jews to the complex are allowed, but all forms of Jewish prayer are prohibited.

Ya’alon last week banned the murabitun and murabitat — male and female groups respectively of East Jerusalem Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who regularly harass Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount, which Jews believe was the site of the two Jewish Temples.

The commander of the Israel Police said Sunday that the force would not tolerate any efforts to harm human life, in particular on the Temple Mount.

“Israel Police will not allow any harm to public security or the sovereignty of the state in general, and at its capital or the Temple Mount in particular,” said interim police chief Bentzi Sau in a statement published on Facebook.

The discovery of the pipe bombs prompted Erdan to warn Sunday that Israel would review arrangements at the site.

Still image taken from a video released by the Israel Police Spokesman apparently showing Palestinians gearing up for a confrontation on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 13, 2015. (screen capture: Israel Police)
Still image taken from a video released by the Israel Police Spokesman apparently showing Palestinians gearing up for a confrontation on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Sunday, September 13, 2015. (screen capture: Israel Police)
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