by James Holbrooks, Underground Reporter:
Last Wednesday, Israeli lawmakers legalized the imprisonment of Palestinian children as young as — by their own words — twelve years old.
The new law, passed by legislators as the “Youth Bill,” allows authorities to “imprison a minor convicted of serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder or manslaughter even if he or she is under the age of 14,” the Knesset said in a press release.
But the originator of the bill, Anat Berko, was quoted in that same statement as saying that for those who are“murdered with a knife in the heart it does not matter if the child is 12 or 15.”
The law’s passage was immediately criticized, even at home.
“Rather than sending them to prison, Israel would be better off sending them to school where they could grow up in dignity and freedom, not under occupation,” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said in a statement, adding that, “Imprisoning such minors denies them the chance of a better future.”
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