Israel Police does not collect data on Israeli civilians detained in Judea and Samaria, Lt.-Col. Yuval Zizi told the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.
“We do not collect data regarding detainees,” Zizi said. “If a particular suspect is arrested he enters the police system. If a suspect is detained, all the reports go into the investigation files. In order to extract the data, we must restore all the files in order to check what the IDF brought and what the army initiated.”
The fact that there is no data, said Committee Chairman Gilad Kariv (Labor), “indicates a fundamental difficulty in implementing the ordinance” of maintaining order. “Where there is no data, someone does not check how the authority is exercised.”
Kariv was holding his second meeting on the absence of data of nationalistic crimes against Palestinians in the West Bank. At issue is that IDF soldiers at the scene of such attacks do not detain suspects. The phenomenon has gained public media attention.
The confusion over whether the IDF has the authority to detain suspects and the absence of a sufficient police force in the West Bank to handle nationalist crimes was highlighted in an intense security cabinet debate last month between IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev.
IDF Col. Israel Shomer said that Israelis committed 446 incidents of nationalist crimes in 2021, but did not specify if those were limited to the West Bank or if it also included sovereign Israel. Nor did he note if that included the ethnic riots that occurred within sovereign Israel during the Gaza war in May.
The IDF can “detain, but the overall responsibility for dealing with the issue lies with the police,” Shomer said, adding that the army does not investigate Israeli citizens, and it is good that it is so.