'Soldiers seldom punished for killing Palestinians'

B’Tselem report states that out of 148 cases in which 288 Palestinians were killed between 2006 and 2009, 95 are still pending.

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September 14, 2010 06:15
1 minute read.
IDF soldiers in action.

idf soldiers 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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IDF soldiers who kill Palestinians in the West Bank are seldom punished, regardless of the circumstances, according to a new report to be released on Tuesday by the organization B’Tselem.

The report, called “Void of Responsibility,” states that the reason for the low number of prosecutions is that the IDF’s Judge Advocate-General’s office routinely procrastinates on cases and the military police do not probe such issues.

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The report states that out of 148 cases in which 288 Palestinians were killed between 2006 and 2009, only 22 resulted in the opening of a Military Police Investigation Unit probe. Ninety-five of those cases are still pending.

B’Tselem said Monday that in their examinations of a number of cases, “investigations are not opened even where there is a grave suspicion that the law has been broken.

“Also, analysis of the files shows that the authorities’ interpretation of the events is based solely on the results of an operational inquiry and the statements of the soldiers, without any reliance on the eyewitness testimony of other persons and on other evidence that contradicts the soldiers’ position.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said “the majority of the subjects and contentions brought up in the B’Tselem report are mentioned in a petition the organization issued to the High Court of Justice on the matter and the state has responded in a comprehensive way. A number of the incidents mentioned in the report have been examined and the results of such probes were sent directly to the organization [B’Tselem].”

The statement added: “It is worth noting that every human being who has found themselves hurt by such decisions has the right to appeal them and turn to the Attorney-General’s Office or the High Court of Justice.”

The statement also takes issue with 10 cases mentioned in the report, detailing how in each one an official investigation was opened and completed.

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