'Real picture is hidden'
Photo: AP

Report: Over-enforcement against Jews

Yesha Human Rights Organization issues report revealing disproportional amount of police activity aimed solely at West Bank settlers while 'neglecting enforcement on Arabs in same territory'

"The police invest great resources into law enforcement in Judea and Samaria, that by far exceed what is common in the rest of districts, and are aimed solely at settlers," said a report by the Yesha Human Rights Organization published on Thursday.


According to the report, "The Judea and Samaria District Police receive orders from above to apply over-enforcement towards the settlers. To that purpose they are granted unprecedented resources, and dictated different classification rules than what is customary."


The data presented in the report was compiled from official records of the law enforcement bodies, the organization said.


"From time to time the media is flooded with articles and op-eds dealing with the law enforcement in Judea and Samaria, always harshly criticizing inefficient law enforcement and a lack of police officers," the report said.


"The criticism doesn't just come from politicians and media officials, but from law enforcement heads that feed the government, the Knesset and the public with a line of slogans."


'Real picture hidden from public's eyes'

The report examined the number of officers stationed at police stations in cities that require high enforcement such as Akko, Netanya, Umm al-Fahm and Lod, and compared them to numbers in the West Bank.


The findings revealed that the ratio of officers to civilians in the West Bank was five times that of Umm al-Fahm. "In the Judea and Samaria district there are 1,050 officers per 243,000 Israeli citizens, in Akko 143 officers per 120,000 civilians, in Netanya 170 officer per 178,000 civilians, and in Umm al-Fahm 50 officers per 60,000 civilians."


Another datum examined in the report was the number of files opened independantly by police without any complaints being filed. In 2007, the report said, such cases made up 25% of all files opened in the West Bank district, compared to 14% of the national average.


A look into the number of files in which arrests were made against suspects whom the police had substantial evidence against also showed a higher average than national data, but the percentage of convictions from the total amount of indictments proved to be lower than average.


According to the organization's report, West Bank district investigative and intelligence recourses focus only on the Jewish population and neglect enforcement on the Arab population of the same territory.


"The reality, as is reflected in the procedures and from the data, shows disproportional over-enforcement while trampling the settlers' human rights on the one hand and the absence of protection from aggressions on the other hand."


Commenting on the findings of the report, Orit Struck, head of the Yesha Human Rights Organization, wondered, "Why is the real picture of law enforcement in the Judea and Samaria District hidden from the public's eyes and why is a picture that has nothing to do with reality being purposely presented?


"The reason for this could be the need and desire of bodies hostile to the settlement in Judea and Samaria to make life harder for the settlers on the one hand and also to incite against them on the other hand."


פרסום ראשון: 12.11.08, 10:04
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