B’Tselem: In past the six years, only one Palestinian minor acquitted out of 835 charged with stone-throwing

on 6 Comments

From B’Tselem:

New B’Tselem report reveals for the first time official data on treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military court system in the West Bank: 93% of all minors convicted of stone throwing were given jail sentences. This includes 19 children under age 14, who under domestic Israeli law could not be held in detention.

The rights of Palestinian minors who are suspected of stone-throwing in the West Bank are violated severely throughout the criminal justice process. These are the finding of No Minor Matter, a new B’Tselem report, published today (Monday, 18 July).

The report brings, for the first time, full official data on Palestinian minors tried for stone-throwing in the past six years, and is based on dozens of court cases, and on interviews with 50 Palestinian minors who had been arrested on suspicion of stone throwing, and with defense attorneys.

Here are some statistics presented in the report dealing with Palestinian minors charged with stone throwing between 2005-2010:

  • 835 Palestinian minors were tried in military courts in the West Bank on charges of stone throwing. Thirty-four of them were aged 12-13; 255 were 14-15; 546 were 16-17.
  • Only one minor was acquitted during that time (0.11 percent of the total), a conviction rate far higher than the extremely high conviction rate in Israel.
  • Of the 642 files where B’Tselem received details about the conclusion, 624 (97 percent) ended with a plea bargain; in only five of the cases (0.77%) was a full trial held. In Israel, about half of criminal cases are resolved in a plea bargain.
  • 19 minors aged 12-13 who were convicted of stone-throwing served a jail sentence ranging from a few days to two months. In Israel, it is forbidden to impose any prison sentence on a child under age 14.
  • 26% of the minors aged 14-15 and about 59% of minors between 16-17 served a jail sentence of four months or more.

Read the full report here.

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6 Responses

  1. PissedOffAmerican
    July 18, 2011, 11:40 am

    Seham has posted the kind of information that gets you banned from posting at zio sites.

    Its also at the top of the “American Media Dare Not Mention List”.

    Its also the kind of info that finds Hillary Clinton with her head so far up her ass that one can be fooled into thinking its actually atop her shoulders.

  2. Fredblogs
    July 18, 2011, 2:40 pm

    The statistics are interesting, but not terribly helpful. They don’t tell us whether the high conviction rate is because they don’t bother charging when they don’t have solid evidence, or because the judges will convict without solid evidence.

    Most prosecutor in America have conviction rates in the 90% or higher range, because they are the ones who have the option to no bring a case when they don’t think they can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Israel really out to re-think that “under 14 no prison” law (assuming that was an accurate description). Over here we have a juvie justice system and can lock up criminal kids. What do they do when someone commits murder the day before his 14th birthday? Say: “bad boy, now go and play”?

    • annie
      July 18, 2011, 2:51 pm

      What do they do when someone commits murder the day before his 14th birthday?

      try staying on topic fred. this report doesn’t deal w/murder, it deals with kids charged w/stone throwing.

    • Cliff
      July 18, 2011, 3:07 pm

      There is plenty of context to arrive at a conclusion about the Israeli justice (or lack thereof) system.

      Yesh Din studies are very thorough and document the lack of accountability in the territories. We can get specific.

    • Avi_
      July 18, 2011, 8:03 pm

      Fredblogs July 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      Palestinians in the occupied West Bank live under an Israeli military rule where military (martial) law applies. As such, abuses like the infamous Administrative Detention are in effect. Israeli forces throw a Palestinian kid in a prison and they need not prove nor show any evidence that he or she committed any crime. The kid’s detention can be extended indefinitely by a simple extension signed by the regional commander.

      To an outsider, what has been going on in the occupied territories can best be described as the Wild West; anything goes when it comes to Israel ruling over Palestinians. So, comparing this system to the court system stateside indicates that the person making such comparison has an enormous information gap regarding the occupation.

      Or, put another way, the absence of the rule of law, of human and civil rights often seen in post-apocalyptic movies is a good description of what life is like for Palestinians. Might makes rights and Israel is the powerful party.

      As an aside, comparing resistance to an illegal military occupation to a crime in a normal society, a society under no occupation, is ludicrous. There is no parallel.

  3. annie
    July 18, 2011, 2:47 pm

    thank you very much for getting on this seham. i was aghast when i read about this @ 1 am last night and was so steaming i tried writing my own post but didn’t finish it, i was too emotional. it ended up being too ranty.

    this is such a scathing report i wish i could scream it from the rooftops. i’m wondering if you had a chance to read (video too) joseph’s dana’s explosive new post New film tackles military justice system in the West Bank? hold onto your hat and don’t miss this link.

    A new film by Israeli director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz tackles the issue of military courts in the West Bank like it has never been investigated on film. Israel’s military legal justice system in the West Bank has been treated on +972 in relatively great detail especially in reference to the unarmed demonstrations which have spread through border villages for the past eight years. According to the press release for the film,

    The Law in These Parts explores the four-decade-old military legal system in the Occupied Territories. Since Israel conquered the territories in the 1967 War, the Israeli Defense Forces legal corps have created and implemented thousands of military orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. This complex system which is invisible to most Israelis is very present in Palestinian daily life and is unique in the entire world. Till today, the IDF legal professionals face judicial and moral dilemmas as they develop and uphold a system of long-term “rule by law” of an occupied population by an occupying army, all under the supervision of the Israeli High Court of Justice. Using interviews, archival footage and deep historical research, this film explores the formal legal mechanisms of Israel’s forty year military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

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