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  • No justice for Bil'in Palestinian activist shot dead by Israeli soldier

    Nearly a decade after an Israeli soldier killed Bassem Abu Rahmeh while he was nonviolently protesting in Bil'in, Israel's High Court decides once and for all that his killer will never see the inside of a courtroom. More than nine years after an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian activist Bassem Abu Rahmeh at a protest in Bil’in, Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected a third and final appeal against the army’s refusal to prosecute or punish anyone for his death. [tmwinpost] The court, however, accused military police and prosecutors of handling the case with negligence, particularly for their inability to identify…

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  • When an Israeli assaults a Palestinian, justice is hard to come by

    A story of assault in Hebron perfectly exemplifies how police investigations fail when the victim is Palestinian. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz More than five years ago, on July 16, 2010, a young Hebronite by the name of Muhammad Abd Al-Raouf Abdrazeq was attacked by two Israeli civilians without any reason. In his police statement, which was backed by the testimony of a Border Police officer as well as by security cameras, Abdrazeq described how a group of Israeli civilians came from the direction of the Cave of the Patriarchs, when suddenly two men split off from the…

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  • The army prefers to indict soldiers who loot — not those who kill

    Why does the the IDF indict soldiers far more often for property-related crimes, while closing cases in which soldiers are suspected of wounding or killing Palestinians? By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din In 2014, a total of 15 Israeli soldiers were indicted for harming Palestinians, as can be seen by our latest data sheet regarding law enforcement on IDF soldiers in the territories. Eight of those indictment were the result of investigations that began in 2014; seven as a result of older investigations. Of all investigations opened last year, only 3.5 percent ended indictments. [tmwinpost] Israeli police, as is…

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  • If only the army could investigate soldiers who harm Palestinians

    When it comes to prosecuting its own soldiers, it seems the military investigation system is set up to allow the IDF to dodge accountability. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din Who is in charge of the military investigative system when soldiers harm Palestinians? This turns out to be a rather complex question that the IDF is at pains to answer. The running of the investigation itself is the responsibility of Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID), but it does not always decide whether to open an investigation. In cases of a suspected crime during operational activity, the decision over…

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  • The operational logic behind terrorizing Palestinians

    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…

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  • Four years, one dead Palestinian and a closed investigation

    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…

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  • Israel's military prosecution presents: How to whittle away an investigation

    A member of Israel's security forces shot a bullet at Ashraf Muhammad Jamal Tufiq’s foot in 2009. The IDF’s investigatory bodies did their best to make sure they will never find the shooter. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On Friday, January 16, 2009, someone – a member of the Israeli security forces – fired a bullet into the foot of Ashraf Muhammad Jamal Tufiq, from the West Bank village Bil’in. According to Tufiq, the shooting occurred without any provocation and came after the weekly demonstration ended. As a result of his injury, Tufiq had to undergo an operation…

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  • Making sure Israeli soldiers stay above the law

    Abusive soldiers evade justice under the aegis of the slow procedures, as well as some creative excuses. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Several weeks ago, Yesh Din attorney Emily Schaeffer received responses from the Military Advocate for Operational Affairs Unit (MAOA) regarding two appeals she submitted years ago on behalf of a Palestinian complainant, Ayman Abd al-Maqtsur Tabieh. In both cases, surprise surprise, the appeals were rejected. Both cases merit discussion, as they shed light on the way abusive soldiers evade punishment. The first incident took place on November 3, 2008, when Tabieh reached the Azoun Atma checkpoint, where…

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  • How I got involved in a 14-year-old girl's murder case

    Settlers went to Nibin Jamjum's home specifically in order to shoot her in the head. All my attempts to bring about the murderer's arrest have failed. A follow-up to the research of Israeli blogger-journalist "Eishton." (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Israeli blogger-journalist Eishton brought me back in time to a two-year period in which I was trying to catch a murderer. In his recent well-researched article, he revisits the pogrom carried out by settlers in Hebron in July 2002. Following the murder of four Jews (including a 9-year-old boy), settlers went out on a three-day rampage, which culminated on a day…

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  • 'Protecting Palestinians isn't part of Israel's ethos'

    Yossi Gurvitz talks to Atty. Emily Schaeffer, coordinator of Yesh Din's criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project, about work, how the IDF investigates its own, the negligible prosecution rate for killing Palestinians, as well as veganism, 'Tikkun Olam' and Passover. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Two weeks ago I met with Emily Schaeffer, coordinator of Yesh Din's criminal accountability of Israeli security forces project, for a conversation and interview that should have been limited to the field of her work but ultimately touched upon many other areas. Let’s begin with basics. Who are you? I was born in…

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  • When shooting a 14-year-old boy in the neck is a minor infraction

    Firing live ammunition at civilians is a crime, more so when minors are involved. Such an incident should not end with a disciplinary procedure but with a criminal investigation. That is not what happened. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz At the end of last July, J., a boy from the village of Silwad, set out with his brother and two other boys to visit family friends in the western side of Silwad, a distance of about one kilometer from his house. One of the boys was asked to deliver a bundle of clothes to the family. They reached…

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  • Four bullets to the back of the head

    An IDF sharpshooter fired four bullets to the back of Jalal Mahmoud Masri’s head and killed him. The army’s investigators closed the case. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz “The soldier will act in an intelligent and secure manner in all his actions, acknowledging the supreme importance of human life […] the soldier will use his arms and force only for the mission, only in the measure needed, and will maintain humanity even during fighting. The soldier will not use his arms and force to harm non-combatants and prisoners, and will do whatever he can to prevent harm to…

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  • Military police must decide: Is the IDF a gang or an army?

    Youth from the village of Qaddum were shocked to find themselves featured on a threatening IDF poster. Will the army severely punish those responsible? By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz About two weeks ago, several youth from the village of Qaddum were shocked to discover their photos and names appear on a placard posted near the mosque, which presented the following threat: "We are the army, dir balaq, we'll catch you should we see you, or we’ll come to your house." The affair was exposed in the +972. The placard was written in bad Arabic. "Dir Balaq" is roughly…

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