RAMALLAH – An Israeli military court imposed fines on Palestinian prisoners to compensate Jewish settlers it claimed were hurt by the Palestinians, Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqi said on Friday.
He said the military court started for the first time and in obvious violation of international law and conventions to force Palestinians held on charges of attacking settlers to pay fines to compensate the settlers for whatever harm was caused to them.
If the prisoners or their families refuse to pay the fine, said Qaraqi, the prisoners will spend more time in prison over their term.
“This is a new policy aimed at empowering the settlers to continue with their attacks against the Palestinians instead of arresting them,” he said.
Families of prisoners from the village of Azzoun in the Qalqilia area told Qaraqi that their sons who were recently sentenced by an Israeli military court were ordered to pay heavy fines in addition to long prison terms after they were found guilty of throwing rocks at settlers who attacked their village.
One prisoner was ordered to pay more than $1500 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, while six others received between five and nine years prison sentences and fined around $1500 each in what observers thought were extremely heavy sentences and fines against youth who tried to stop settlers from attacking their village and destroying its property and crops.