[29 January 2015] – In February 2014, Israel’s military authorities announced the introduction of a pilot programme to issue written summonses in lieu of arresting children in the West Bank at night. This announcement followed concerns raised in the UK, The Netherlands, Australia and by UNICEF about the devastating effect of repeated night-time incursions into Palestinian communities by the Israeli military.
- The pilot programme commenced in February 2014;
- The pilot programme was operational in the Nablus and Hebron districts in the West Bank;
- The pilot programme has now been suspended; and
- No statistics were kept by the military during the course of the pilot programme.
- No details of the pilot study were made public to enable an independent assessment;
- Although described as a “pilot programme” the military authorities now concede that no statistics were kept which would enable internal or external assessment;
- Two-thirds of the summonses were delivered at night in terrifying military raids; and
- The military official responsible for the implementation of the pilot study resides in a West Bank settlement established in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention (Art. 49 as confirmed by the UN Security Council) and classified as a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Art. 8). The evidence indicates that repeated night-time raids by the Israeli military is an essential element in the military’s strategy of “demonstrating presence” in Palestinian villages located near settlements amounting to a systematic pattern of intimidation. These circumstances give rise to a clear perception of a conflict of interest.