Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

‘Israel has different laws for Arab and Jewish youth’

11 November 2009

By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz – 11 Nov 2009

The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday dismissed a case against an Arab youth who was charged with attacking a police vehicle near Nazareth during the Gaza offensive earlier this year.

Judge Yuval Shedmi said in his ruling that, “Israel is working on two fundamentally different enforcement levels in relation to crimes perpetrated by minors.”

The court ruled that the youth must sign a bond worth NIS 5,000, which states that he will refrain from perpetrating violent activities against police over the next two years, as well as perform 200 hours of community service.

The court also banned the youth from getting a driver’s license for two years.

The Arab teenager was arrested a week after Operation Cast Lead began in Gaza. A police vehicle traveling along the road leading from Moshav Tzipori in the north to Nazareth was forced off the road when he and several of his friends hurled rocks at the passing car.

The prosecutor insisted on charging him for intentionally endangering civilians, and pressed for the youth to receive a prison sentence saying “the case must be used as an example to deter further behavior in this nature.”

The defense attorney claimed that the country has been implementing a fastidious enforcement policy that has discriminated against Arab youth, in comparison to Jewish youth, especially relating to “ideological” attacks on law enforcement.

The judge accepted the defense attorney’s claim that the youth must be “protected against justice” and said that sentencing the Nazareth citizen to prison would be contradictory to the principles of justice of the country.

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