November 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Sunday slammed Israel for handing down "soft" sentences against two soldiers accused of using a child as a human shield during the Gaza war.

"Israel deliberately go easy with its soldiers who commit international law's violations against the Palestinian civilians," said Ghassan Al-Khatib, spokesman for the PNA.

The two soldiers forced a nine-year-old boy to open a bag believed to have contained bombs. The incident happened during Israel's ground operation in January 2009 which followed a week of intensive airstrikes on Gaza.

An Israeli court on Sunday ruled a suspended detention of three months against the soldiers and demoted their ranks.

"This verdict would encourage the Israeli soldiers to continue their daily violations against the Palestinians," Al-Khatib told Xinhua.


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