(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
It is not enough for Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz to acknowledge that the law enforcement situation in the West Bank is unsatisfactory, he must take action, the human rights organization Yesh Din said Sunday.
"The attorney-general's statement [in a speech over the weekend in Caesarea before the Public Law Organization] is not a substitute for effective action," said the organization's legal adviser, Michael Sfard. "The State of Israel is obliged to protect Palestinian citizens and their property in the face of Israeli violence. Mazuz must organize the efforts and bring about the desired change."
In response to a question by Hebrew University legal expert Eyal Gross, Mazuz said, "The State of Israel is not investing sufficient resources in this matter... The state of law enforcement in the territories is not only unsatisfactory, it is in a much deteriorated state."
Mazuz said there were many reasons for this state of affairs, but the key to its solution lay with the army.
"We in the law enforcement sector work from afar there," he said. "It is primarily a matter for the army, and the army has priorities and missions which it generally regards as being more urgent than to allocate forces [to deal with this problem.] And the police have problems there."
Mazuz said the "problem of lawlessness began with the establishment of the settlements in the territories and has been with us ever since."