The Knesset passed on Monday a new law with a comfortable majority of 69-17 mandating tough sentences for anyone who throws a rock at a moving vehicle. The bill, introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, does not require an intent to kill on the part of the rock thrower. The bill passed after a day-long heated debate in the Knesset in which opponents argued that the bill would be abused, and would amount to a violation of human rights.
“We congratulate the Knesset on passing this bill, which will once and for all send a loud message that rock throwing against anyone will not be condoned, particularly against people who visit Har Hazeisim,” said Avrohom Lubinsky, chairman of the International Committee for Har Hazeisim.
A leadership group of the ICPHH had met with Minister Shaked and other senior officials in an effort to pass such a tough new law. Lubinsky said that the provisions in the law that hold parents of minors accountable is “extremely important,” as most of the incidents are perpetrated by minors, mostly at the behest of parents who often stand on the sidelines to watch their offspring heave stones at passing vehicles. They do so because of their knowledge that the minors will not be held accountable. “That game is over,” said Mr. Lubinsky.
Mr. Lubinsky said that the new law, coupled with closures of roads that go through Har Hazeism, as well as the beefed-up security of a new force of 25 officers and border police, will hopefully bring lasting security to the 3000-year old cemetery.