An Israeli soldier mans a control post over the road from Baqa Al-Garbiya to the West Bank town of Baqa Al-Sharqiya
An Israeli rights group said that the Israeli army's inquiries into Palestinian complaints against its soldiers are frequently flawed and less than four percent result in an indictment. © Yoav Lemmer - AFP/File
An Israeli soldier mans a control post over the road from Baqa Al-Garbiya to the West Bank town of Baqa Al-Sharqiya
AFP
Last updated: December 7, 2011

NGO: Israel army fails Palestinian complainants

The Israeli army's inquiries into Palestinian complaints against its soldiers are frequently flawed and less than four percent result in an indictment, an Israeli rights group said on Wednesday.

In a report entitled "Alleged Investigation," Yesh Din said more than a third of the 3,150 complaints against Israeli troops filed between 2000 and 2010, were dismissed without a criminal investigation.

And of the 1,949 cases that were investigated by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Unit (MPCID) and the Military Advocate General's Corps (MAGC), only 112 -- a rate of just 3.5 percent -- resulted in indictments, the group said.

The group said a total of 190 soldiers and officers were indicted through April 2011, with decisions against nine still pending.

Of those trials completed by the report's publication, 90 percent resulted in a conviction, five percent resulted in acquittals and in the remaining cases the indictments were cancelled or the charges commuted.

The report accuses the two bodies of lengthy delays in conducting investigations, of failing to visit the scene of the alleged crimes and of making little or no effort to obtain witness testimony.

It said the military was unable to provide documents explaining why cases were closed or failed to result in indictments.

"The chances that a criminal offence committed by an IDF soldier against a Palestinian will successfully navigate the obstacle course of lodging a complaint, an MPCID investigation, and a decision by the MAGC before finally resulting in an indictment, are almost nil," Yesh Din said.

It accused Israel of "not meeting its obligation to protect the civilian population in the area it occupied" and called on the military to shake up its procedures for processing and investigating such allegations.

The report urged the army to investigate all complaints that "indicate suspicion of a criminal offence," to open offices in the West Bank to make filing complaints easier, to increase its number of investigators and their training, and to invest in improving their Arabic language skills.

The group said the MAGC should also work to reassure Palestinians that they would not face retribution for testifying against their alleged attackers, including offering them immunity from prosecution for certain offences.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Stay Connected
twitter icon Twitter 13,558 linkedin icon LinkedIn 463
facebook icon Facebook 87,173 google+ icon Google+ 272