Black mark on the laws of Israel

Today the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee approved the proposed law denying compensation to persons injured by Israeli security forces in the Occupied Territories. The proposed law will soon be submitted to the Knesset for second and third readings, and thus pass into law.

The proposed law severely infringes the basic right of persons injured by the negligent or intentional acts of IDF soldiers, by attempting to expand the definition of combat activities, for which the state is exempt from compensation.

Human rights organizations repeat and emphasize that the purpose of the law is not to protect IDF soldiers against claims relating to their acts of combat. Rather, it is intended to save state treasury money regarding claims based on injury resulting from the intentional or negligent acts of IDF soldiers, such as firing in violation of army regulations. This purpose completely contravenes the fundamental values of the State of Israel.

The human rights organizations add that the proposed law as a whole is an expression of lack of faith in the courts’ ability to determine the truth, and denies the courts discretion in these matters. The proposed law severely infringes the right to bodily integrity, property, and equality, and contravenes the rule of law and the fundamental principles of Israeli and international law. Leading jurists at Israeli universities agree with this assessment.

The attempt to enact a law whose objective is to deny existing rights, leaving the injured with no relief, is unprecedented. Human dignity, the sanctity of life, and the right to bodily integrity are among the basic values of Israeli law. If passed, the law would place an black mark on the laws of Israel.

Click here to read the position paper.

Click here to download B’tselem’s translation of the draft law

B’Tselem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
8 HaTa’asiya St. (4th Floor),
Jerusalem 93420, Israel.
Tel: 972-2-6735599, Fax: 972-2-6749111