Israeli military courts have imposed fines topping $16m, on West Bank Palestinians, from 2015 to 2017, â€śeven though the great majority of the offenses do not involve the harming of people or property.â€ť
According to a report byÂ Haaretz, â€śthe money is deposited in the Israeli Civil Administrationâ€™s accounts in the West Bank and is managed by an officer also subordinate to Israeli finance ministry.â€ť
The report cites examples of fines, such as the December 2018 conviction of a Beit Ummar resident, for throwing a stone at Israeli occupation forces â€śfrom an unknown distance.â€ť
Although â€śthe stone did not hit anyone and caused no damage,â€ť he was jailed for six months and fined 2,000 shekels ($550).
In October 2018, a military judge convicted a 45-year-old man of what the court considered a â€śhostile terrorist offenseâ€ť â€“ namely, â€śhe went on a family picnic holding a hunting rifle with one bullet in it.â€ť
In a plea deal, â€śhe was sentenced to two months in prison and fined 3,000 shekels ($800).â€ť
HaaretzÂ article notes how â€śexperience shows that a Palestinian cannot be released from detention or prison without paying the fine imposed on him, regardless of the offenseâ€™s severity.â€ť
â€śThe fines imposed on Palestinians in the military courts are extremely exaggerated, both in their scope compared with the size of the population and its economic ability,â€ť Combatants for Peace toldÂ Haaretz.
According to Days of Palestine, a member of the group also told the paper that in the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank, fines to release tractors that Israeli occupation authorities â€śhad confiscated from farmers [forbidding them to cultivate their land] sometimes reached 4,000 shekels ($1,100).â€ť
(Al Ray archive image)