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Israel toughens sentences for Palestinian rock throwers

JERUSALEM -- Israel's parliament has passed a law toughening penalties against Palestinian rock throwers.

The law comes as Israel is struggling to contain a wave of Palestinian attacks, mainly stabbings, and violent clashes at demonstrations in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The law was first introduced months ago, before the current violence began.

The law places a minimum sentence of three years on offenders and strips rock throwers of their social security benefits, a punishment that applies to Palestinians in east Jerusalem who have Israeli residency rights.

The parents of minors convicted of rock throwing could also have their social security benefits annulled during the period of the offender's sentence.

Israel's parliament, the Knesset, said on its website Tuesday that the law passed in a final reading.

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