Supreme Court to hear petition against cutting of social benefits to parents of Palestinian kids jailed for throwing stones

Petition filed by Adalah, Hamoked, Addameer, and Defense for Children International-Palestine to be held 3 July before expanded panel of nine justices.

The Israeli Supreme Court is scheduled to hold a hearing 3 July 2018 on a petition filed by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and three partner organizations against Israel’s cutting of social benefits to Palestinian families whose children have been imprisoned for throwing stones.


The hearing will be conducted by an expanded panel of nine justices, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut.


On 25 January 2017, the Supreme Court issued an order nisi in response to the petition, which demanded that the Israeli authorities cancel an amendment to the Criminal Law that denies child allowances and other benefits to Palestinian families whose children (under age 18) are convicted and incarcerated in Israeli prisons for stone throwing and crimes that are categorized as security offenses with “nationalist motivations”. The petition was submitted by Adalah, Hamoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, Addameer – Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, and Defense for Children International-Palestine.


Under the law, passed in November 2015, the parents of these children, most of whom are East Jerusalem residents, are no longer able to receive child allowances, supplementary employment payments, or alimony payments for the duration of their children’s prison terms. Most of these cases involve stone-throwing, a practice commonly used by Palestinian children and youth during protests.


The petitioners argued that by punishing the parents for the actions of their children, the law violates the prohibition on collective punishment, and that it is being implemented  discriminatorily against Palestinian parents.


The Supreme Court found that the human rights organizations had raised substantial legal questions in their petition, and ordered the state to explain why the withholding of social welfare benefits from Palestinian families in such cases is not discriminatory.


(Photo courtesy of CPT Palestine)