‘8.5% of investigations of crimes against West Bank Arabs result in indictments’

Yesh Din says most cases against Israeli Jews suspected of crimes against Palestinians closed due to investigative failures.

July 25, 2013 23:14
1 minute read.
Hilltop youth [illustrative]

Hilltop youth [illustrative] 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

The state only reaches indictments in 8.5 percent of cases opened against Israelis suspected of harming Palestinians in the West Bank, according to a report published this week by the Yesh Din NGO.

According to Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, between 2005 and 2013, 8.5% of the 938 investigative files opened by Judea and Samaria District police against Israeli Jews suspected of committing crimes against Palestinians resulted in indictments, with 84% eventually being closed because of what the NGO said were police investigative failures.

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The report added that in the “vast majority of the cases” – which included violent attacks, property crimes, cutting of olive trees and torching of fields – police failed to find the offenders or compile evidence for an indictment.

“The negligent investigations and low indictment rate send a clear message to offenders that the state has no interest in forcing them to end their actions,” Noa Cohen of Yesh Din’s research department said in a statement on Wedensday.

“Anyone who is familiar with the situation in the territories recognizes that Israel has abandoned its obligation to protect the Palestinian population.”

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira submitted a report to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein last Wednesday in which criticized the absence of criminal investigations into illegal building by settlers and the loss of millions of shekels in uncollected property fees in the West Bank.

The report also criticized police for not adequately enforcing traffic laws and environmental regulations in the West Bank.

Judea and Samaria District police said on Thursday that officers will meet with Yesh Din to study the report and then prepare a response.

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