Report: Settler violence not probed
Rights group report shows 91% of Palestinian complaints end without indictments. 'People who lack rights under our rule are abandoned to their fates, and this carries both moral and legal consequences,' says Yesh Din legal advisor. Police: We're looking into report's findings
An Israeli human rights organization released a report Wednesday saying that 91% of cases in which Palestinians complain of violent acts against them are closed without indictments.
Yesh Din organization presented in its report cases which have been under its charge from 2005 until today, in which Israelis were accused of behaving violently towards Palestinian residents of the West Bank. It found that less than 10% of these cases ended with an indictment.
Most of the cases in which Palestinians complained of physical violence against them or property damage by Israelis were closed due to lack of evidence or police inability to track down suspects, Yesh Din says.
The report provides data showing that 488 of the 539 cases, or 91%, filed by Yesh Din were closed without indictments. In 315 cases, police cited "assailant unknown" as the reason for this and in 33 cases "no criminal culpableness" was found.
One of these cases was filed in 2009 by a Palestinian who claimed three men attacked him, two of them masked. He said they beat him with sticks and axe-handles, after which he was taken to a Qalqilya hospital and then filed a report with Ariel Police.
Yesh Din says the Palestinian provided a description of the unmasked man and subsequently recognized him in a lineup. However the suspect was not interrogated by police and the case was closed and filed under "assailant unknown" less than a month later.
An appeal filed by the organization caused the court to reopen the case and order police to investigate once more.
Attorney Michael Sfard, Yesh Din's legal advisor, called the police's failure to protect West Bank residents "a mark of Cain upon the brow of Israeli society".
"The data show that the people who lack rights under our rule are abandoned to their fates, and this fact has both moral and legal consequences," Sfard said.
Police refrained from issuing a response and said they were looking into the report's findings. Regarding the case cited by Yesh Din, police stated that the suspect was not identified beyond a doubt in the lineup, and that despite this they had summoned him for questioning.
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