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Resource: Faced with settler violence, the IDF stands idly by

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 as repeated rulings by the Israeli Supreme Court, the IDF is obligated to maintain law and order in the West Bank. Therefore, upon the occupation of the West Bank its forces were given policing powers. However, the report shows how over the years the army has avoided fulfilling that duty and tried to impose it on the Israel Police.

Yesh Din is a volunteer organization working to defend the human rights of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation.

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    1. Pedro X

      Last evening 4 Israelis returning from a basketball game had the car in which they were traveling sprayed with bullets in a drive by shooting in Judea and Samaria between Shilo and Shvut Rachel. One of the four occupants is fighting for his life in hospital. The others are recovering form being shot. In the past two days two Palestinians, a woman and a 15 year old male have been stopped trying to enter Israel with a machine gun and a rifle in their quest to gun down Israelis as happened recently in Tunisia.

      Today it was announced that the top Hamas commander in Judea and Samaria had been arrested having planned a wave multiple terror attacks against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Jerusalem Post reports:

      “The head of Hamas in the West Bank since 2010, who was recently arrested, was indicted on Thursday in the Judea and Samaria military court for organizing possibly dozens of terrorist cells for a wave of kidnappings, suicide bus bombings and attacks on settlements.

      Arrested on May 27 before Operation Brother’s Keeper, Riad Natzer is accused of raising more than NIS 1.5 million for terrorist operations, buying weapons for his operatives and organizing them into cells – each trained for a different kind of terrorist activity.

      The arrest and the court case were under gag order, but the order was removed on Thursday with the filing of the indictment.

      As part of Natzer’s alleged plans, weapons were concealed in designated spots throughout the West Bank, with instructions passed on to other operatives who would use the weapons – all in preparation for the day Natzer would activate the operatives to carry out their attacks.”

      The police have to prioritize their investigations and resources to fight Palestinian Palestinian terrorism rather than investigate each stone throwing clash between Jews and Arabs as a capital crime case.

      Anti-Israel organization Yesh Din is heavily funded by foreign sources (4.8 million NIS in 2014) to demonize Israel and ignores that Palestinian violence in Judea and Samaria greatly exceeds violence from members of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in both numbers and severity. As I have pointed out the United Hatazallah figures from 2013 compared to the UN OCHA figures show that for every price tag attack or violent attack by a small number of Jews living in communities there are 28 Palestinian attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria.

      If you bother to read the news in the Jewish press from Judea and Samaria you will notice many complaints from Israelis about the failure of the IDF or border police to pursue, arrest, detain and prosecute Palestinians engaged in acts of violence against them. On a regular basis the army does not pursue rock throwers into Palestinian villages, or open investigations when Jews and Arabs clash. Separating clashing parties is riot control. Yesh Din does not publish comparative figures for attacks against Jews in communities of Judea and Samaria and the rates of complaints, arrest, indictment and conviction. Yesh Din’s reports are without reference to complaints, investigation, indictment and conviction in the thousands of acts of violence endured each year by the members of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

      Yesh Din is engaged in lawfare against Israel and seeks to tarnish the image of Israel in the world for its overriding mandate. Emily Schaeffer, a member of the Yesh Din legal team, said that the goal of the organization is to end the occupation.

      “Yesh Din was founded to use law as a tool to fight the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

      Yesh Din therefore highlights not the overall system but individual cases which suits its goal. The organization has been caught ignoring or distorting facts to suit its goals. Yesh Din claimed that only 3.5% of complaints against Israeli soldiers committing offences against Palestinians resulted in indictments. The Knesset research and evaluation center in 2009 found that the number was 9%.

      How does this compare to indictments in other jurisdictions. It is hard to say because these figures are not usually available on a nation to nation basis. However look at localities in the US. In Dallas Texas between the years 2008 to 2012 82 police killings were reviewed and only 1 ended with an indictment. In Houston there had been no indictments during the same period.

      Yesh Din does not delve into what percentage of the claims are false or frivolous. Inherent in Yesh Din’s strategy is to imply that Israelis are 100% guilty of all charges against them when it comes to Palestinians. Yesh Din does not look at the 999 cases correctly handled but the cases they think were not handled properly and to imply all cases are handled badly.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Arab settlers attacked Jewish children and their father on the Temple Mount recently. The police stood by and did nothing until a complaint was filed.

      Reply to Comment
      • Marnie

        Where is your link to substantiates your claim? There are hundreds of examples of the IDF watching settler violence and doing absolutely nothing at all. You might be amazed at just how long this has been documented (31 years ago).

        Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, January/February 1995
        Middle East History—It Happened In February

        Israeli Commission Calls Occupation Policies “A Systematic Miscarriage of Justice”
        By Donald Neff

        It was 11 years ago, on Feb. 9, 1984, that a report prepared by a special commission appointed by the Israeli attorney general was released deploring violence by Jewish settlers against Palestinians living under occupation. To the outrage of many Israeli government officials, the report added that Israeli occupation troops and Jewish settlers were engaged in a massive miscarriage of justice against Palestinians….

        You can read the rest at +972
        A vicious cycle of lawlessness in the West Bank

        The IDF has all but refused to fulfill its obligation to hold Israeli settlers accountable under the law and to protect Palestinians from them.

        By Eyal Hareuveni

        Reply to Comment
      • Proud Miza Jew

        A fabricated and absolute lie. Also, referring to Al Aqsa MOSQUE as ‘temple mount’ pretty much proves who you are. There is no such thing as ‘Arab settlers’ but there is such a ting s JEWISH SETTLEMENTS.

        Take your lying self back to Lehava and send them my spits.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Average American

      West Bank is under Martial Law, and has been for forty years, and will be maybe forever, because it makes everything easier for the Zionists. West Bank is like my American government’s twisted logic justifying Guantanamo by (1) this facility is not on American soil (2) not subject to American law (3) information about what really happens there is “classified for national security” (4) we can do whatever the hell we want.

      Reply to Comment
    4. R5

      R5: Unilateral withdrawal – from Shilo, Bracha, and these other towns that are 100% liability and no strategic value to Israel. Secure Gush Dan, secure Jerusalem. Draw a border and stick to it.

      Reply to Comment