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Photo: Reuters
Exposed to abuse (Illustration)
Photo: Reuters
Report: Most Palestinian claims of IDF abuse don't lead to charges
Research conducted by human rights organization Yesh Din finds only 6 percent of investigations against soldiers accused of harming Palestinian civilians resulted in indictments in last seven years; military courts fail to hand severe sentences for offenses

Only six percent of investigations against IDF soldiers suspected of abusing Palestinians in the last seven years led to indictments, a report published by the Yesh Din human rights organization revealed on Wednesday.

 

According to the group, thousands of Palestinian civilians who were not involved in operations against the IDF were killed from the beginning of the second intifada and until 2007. However, only very few cases resulted in the filing of charges against the soldiers implicated with those deaths.

 

Until today military courts convicted only five soldiers for the deaths of four civilians: Three Palestinians and one British citizen.

 

The report is based on data provided by the army, according to which of the 1,264 investigations launched by the military police since 2000, only 78 led to indictments against one soldier or more.

 

'IDF abandons Palestinian population'

Yesh Din further claimed that the IDF was far from judging severely those soldiers convicted of abusing Palestinian civilians. For instance, all soldiers found guilty of plundering, an offense which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, were handed prison sentences ranging between 40 days to six months.

 

Lior Yavne, research director at Yesh Din and the author of the report, said: "A soldier who chooses to beat up a handcuffed Palestinian, or who unnecessarily shoots an unarmed civilian, knows that the chances of him facing trial or even investigated are slim.

 

"The report illustrates how the IDF leaves the population of the occupied territories exposed to its soldiers' arbitrariness."

 

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