Netanyahu: Israel Expanding Its 'War on Stone-throwing' Beyond Jerusalem

Two days after Israeli killed in car crash caused by stone-throwers, PM reiterates Israel's new policy in cracking down on suspects.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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An Israeli policeman aiming his tear gas launcher during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians near one of the entrances to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound in November 2014.Credit: AFP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that as part of its new policy in the "war on stone-throwing," Israel would expand its efforts to encompass not just Jerusalem and its environs, but regions of northern and southern Israel as well.

Speaking to reporters on Route 443 on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the prime minister said that Israeli authorities would adopt a number of steps, including altering open-fire orders, increasing the minimum penalties for stone-throwers and the fines imposed on suspected minors and their families.

 Netanyahu held an emergency meeting Tuesday evening on the escalation of stone-throwing in Jerusalem, a day after 64-year-old Alexander Levlovitch lost control of his vehicle near the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher in East Jerusalem when his car was hit by stones. The car then hit a power pole and landed in a ditch. Two passengers were lightly wounded in the crash.

Last week, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan released new instructions for law enforcement against stone throwers. Prosecutors must now ask for detention until the end of legal proceedings for nearly all suspects charged with throwing stones

Nitzan's instructions were in effect a nationwide implementation of the policy adopted over the past year by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office, under which every time suspected stone throwers are indicted, the prosecutors ask for the suspect to be held until the end of the case. Stone-throwing charges can be filed against suspects as young as 12.