A new report by human rights organization Yesh Din about how IDF soldiers act when offenses are committed by Israeli citizens against Palestinians in the West Bank. The phenomenon of "standing idly by" refers to incidents when soldiers witness violence by Israeli citizens against Palestinians and their property and do nothing to prevent the harm while the action is ongoing; refrain from detaining or arresting the perpetrators after the event; fail to secure the scene to allow the collection of evidence; or fail to testify about the event to the police. According to the provisions of international law as well…Read More... | 3 Comments
What the government calls 'nationalist crimes' are not random acts of violence—they have a clear goal: dispossessing Palestinians of their land. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz From time to time, this country is shaken by a particularly severe wave of nationalistically-motivated hate crimes against Palestinians, often in the form of arson or desecration of a religious site. After each such incident, we are faced with the usual ritual: senior government or police officials stare into the cameras with a determined gaze; they call the acts unconscionable; they say they take the incident with a full measure of responsibility and severity; they…Read More... | 4 Comments
Instead of regular criminal proceedings against Israelis who commit crimes against Palestinians, the police cut corners using military administrative orders. By Ziv Stahl, written for Yesh Din Yesh Din's latest report, Mock Enforcement, takes a long, hard look at law enforcement vis-à-vis Israeli citizens who commit crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories. Data collected for the report indicates that law enforcement in the West Bank is ineffectual, and that the absence of a functional system has led to solutions that circumvent the problem so as to maintain a facade of minimal public order in the West Bank. [tmwinpost] Instead…Read More...
When Israelis are accused of victimizing Palestinians, nearly 25% of convictions are simply thrown out — to avoid tarring the criminal with a criminal record. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din Every year Yesh Din publishes data about police investigative failures regarding crimes carried out by Israelis against Palestinians in the West Bank. They are usually quite similar: the police fails to investigate approximately 85 percent of complaints by Palestinians who report being harmed by Israelis. The rate becomes much higher when it comes to the destruction of Palestinian trees by Israeli civilians: that's when the police failure rate…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Israeli justice system – from its inaccessible police stations to its lenient prosecutors, from its negligent investigators to its judges who won’t convict – makes it clear to the Palestinians that there is simply no point in lodging complaints. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din “The spectrum of possible reasons for the lack of complaints may range from acceptance of the fact and a natural inclination not to complain, to disinclination to come in contact with the authorities, to fear resulting from a threat or concern of retribution, to reaching the conclusions from the lack of results in…Read More... | 1 Comment
Only 7.4 percent of West Bank Israeli police investigations following complaints from Palestinian victims of offenses committed against them or their property by Israeli civilians result in indictments. The remaining investigations are closed, in most cases (some 85 percent), due to investigative failure, largely because investigators were unable to find suspects or collect enough evidence for an indictment. A new report by Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din discusses the reasons for the failure to enforce the law on Israeli civilians in the West Bank. An analysis closed case files reveals substandard investigations characterized by failures and deficiencies at every…Read More...
When the prosecution closes a case for lack of evidence, despite the abundance thereof, we realize how seriously it takes its role. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz The location was Qusra, a village in the Shiloh Valley; the date, September 16, 2011. Fathallah Mahmoud Muhammad Abu Rhoda went out with his three sons to pick figs. A short while after reaching their land, they noticed about 10 Israeli civilians standing around their water hole. The Palestinians demanded the Israelis leave the place; the interlopers refused. The residents of Qusra — a village that has already proven it can…Read More... | 10 Comments
At the core of Israel's settlement outpost system lies the systemic violation of Palestinian human rights. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din If we had to look for a good example of the meaning of the outpost system – the unofficial settlements Israel builds in the West Bank – we could hardly expect a better one than that supplied by the minister of defense himself. Commenting on a legal appeal that — contrary to some reports, Yesh Din is not part of — demands the removal of the Mitzpe Kramim outpost, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said (Hebrew): “This location was established legally, with the…Read More... | 42 Comments
Why trust the military to investigate itself when soldiers who kill unarmed Palestinians are let off the hook time and time again? By Alma Biblash In January 2013, an Israeli soldier shot a 16-year-old Palestinian who posed absolutely no threat in his back. Samir Awad, from the village Budrus, didn't survive the valiant military operation, and was killed. Last December, the High Court of Justice harshly criticized the Military Advocate General's (MAG) handling of the case calling on it to finish its investigation. On Tuesday, the State announced that it would charge the soldier reckless and negligent use of a…Read More... | 6 Comments
Four Israeli soldiers carry out a routine procedure of 'showing presence' by throwing a smoke grenade into a Palestinian home. Its real purpose? Terrorizing innocent people. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din The incident in question, given the daily routine of the occupation, is relatively minor. On December 3rd, 2007, Adnan Abu Haniyeh, a resident of the West Bank village Yanoun, woke up from the sound of an explosion. Something blew up, the windows of his house were shattered and the house was filled with smoke. His little girl screamed in terror, and for a time the family feared that her…Read More... | 7 Comments
The Israeli government’s policy proves that the outposts are effectively settlements – only you’ll never hear them being called that. “The outposts are not ‘hilltop youth.’ It is a carefully planned seizure of strategic points, the outposts have been coordinated with the prime minister.” – Adi Minz, former Yesha Council Chairman, 2004. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Israel has not officially created new settlements since 1996. This is an international guarantee made by the government. Creating a new settlement requires a government decision, and with three exceptions (the legalization of the outposts Bruchin and Rechalim, together with Nofei Nechemia, and…Read More... | 13 Comments
When the settlers of Halamish complained that the IDF isn’t being violent enough, a brigadier-general assured them that he orders his troops to use unnecessary force against Palestinians. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Near the Palestinian villages of Dir Nizam and Nabi Salah lies a settlement named Halamish, also known as Neve Tsuf. About a month ago, after Palestinians threw stones at their vehicles, the settlers of Halamish took the law into their own hands and began “securing” the road leading to the settlement. The IDF didn’t like the initiative, but – lo and behold – did not…Read More... | 30 Comments
What does an Israeli military investigation of the killing of a Palestinian look like? An utter waste of time. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On Friday, January 16, 2009, stormy demonstrations took place throughout the West Bank, as Operation Cast Lead was in full force in Gaza. The Israeli media did not report the many civilian casualties caused by IDF fire in the Gaza Strip. The Arab media, however, reported on it extensively. Yesh Din wrote about a failed investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) about a shooting that day in Bil'in here. That same day…Read More... | 20 Comments
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