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Israel to indict 3 Palestinian minors from Bethlehem refugee camp for stone-throwing

March 1, 2017 5:27 P.M. (Updated: March 1, 2017 8:19 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinian minors from the al-Duheisha refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem are scheduled to be indicted by an Israeli military court for throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli armed forces, according to Israeli police.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that police had completed their investigation into the case of the three “minors” from the camp who “are suspected of throwing stones and Molotov cocktails” at Israeli border guard forces on a highway.

“Investigations revealed that the three went to a gas station in their area after they finished a school day and prepared Molotov cocktails, which they later threw at Israeli soldiers who managed to detain them,” al-Samri said, adding that a Molotov cocktail was found in the school bag of one of the minors.

The identity of the three remained unknown.

Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated their crackdown on Palestinian youth who are caught throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers, detaining hundreds of Palestinians for alleged stone throwing every year.

Israeli rights group B'Tselem reported that from 2005 to 2010, "93 percent of the minors convicted of stone throwing were given a prison sentence, its length ranging from a few days to 20 months."

However, Palestinians have claimed that rock throwing by teenagers represents a natural reaction to the frustrations caused by the nearly half-century Israeli military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which has been shaped by everyday forms of violence, such as nightly military raids into Palestinian communities, arbitrary detentions, home demolitions, and frequent killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

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