Rights org: Israeli soldiers escape indictment

Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian house during clashes marking Land Day near Qalandiya checkpoint on the edge of the West Bank city of Ramallah, 30 March 2007. (Moti Milrod/MaanImages)

A five-page Data Sheet released by Yesh Din reveals Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) failure to investigate and indict its soldiers involved in criminal offenses against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.

IDF statistics, provided to Yesh Din at the organization’s demand, on results of Military Police investigations of criminal offenses in which IDF soldiers harmed Palestinians and their property since the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000 until June 2007, show that some 90 percent of these investigation files were closed with no indictment. Over nearly seven years 1,091 criminal investigations were opened following offenses which include killing and injury of civilians, abuse, damages to property and others. These investigations resulted in 118 indictments only, of which 101 led to convictions of the accused. The data also show that out of the 239 investigations on killing and injury of Palestinian civilians not involved in the hostilities, only 16 resulted in convictions: less than seven percent of the investigations on this matter.

The Data Sheet includes a comparison between the number of indictments filed by the Military Advocate General against IDF soldiers accused of committing offenses against Palestinians and number of indictments on other offenses. The comparison shows, among other things, that the number of indictments filed against soldiers on drug-related offenses in 2006 alone is seven times higher that the number of all indictments filed against IDF soldiers accused committing of criminal offenses against Palestinians and their property throughout nearly seven years of the second intifada.

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