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Home » Public statements »

Lack of effective remedies
 
[8 September 2014] – According to a recent report, a year-and-a-half after the Turkel Commission published recommendations for improving the way Israel investigates suspected violations of the laws of war, the army has yet to implement key suggestions. The report gives a number of examples of the failure to implement the Commission’s recommendations, including: 
  • The Military Police has not set up a special division to investigate incidents that occur during operations in the West Bank;
     
  • The Military Advocate General’s Corps has not set precise deadlines for how long such investigations should take;
     
  • Legislation has not been passed to bring Israeli criminal law into compliance with international law;
     
  • Senior officers or civilian officials have not been held criminally responsible when their underlings committed crimes; and
     
  • Annual statistics on how long investigations take are still not made public. 
The report also notes that according to two human rights groups (B’Tselem and Yesh Din) the system in place to investigate suspected crimes against Palestinians suffers from “serious systemic problems that make it unable to conduct professional investigations”. This conclusion appears to be supported by the available data into investigations conducted into the military, police and security services which are presented in the following table.
 
Accountability for complaints lodged against the military, police and ISA.

Party
Procedure
Result
Israeli army
Army regulations require that the Military Advocate General (MAG) conduct a criminal investigation in any case where a complaint of torture or cruelty of a person in custody is reported.
  • 97.5% of investigations were closed without indictment between 2009 and 2011.
  • 100% of investigations were closed without indictment in 2012.
  • 94.5% of investigations were closed without indictment in 2013.
Israeli police
Complaints against the police must be submitted to the Department for the Investigation of Police Officers (DIP) within the Ministry of Justice.
  • 95% of cases submitted were closed without indictment between 2000 and 2011.
Israeli Security Agency
Complaints Inspector.
  • 100% of cases submitted were closed without a criminal investigation being opened since 2001.
 

 
The report by Haaretz concludes by quoting the Executive Director of Yesh Din, Neta Patrick, who said she considers the system “broken,” and that “adopting the Turkel recommendations could have been a very good start” toward fixing it. “Investigations must be real and effective, not investigations for appearance’s sake”.
 
 
Links
  • Haaretz: Israeli army lags in reforming probes into Palestinian deaths
  • Yesh Din: Law Enforcement upon IDF in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (Sep 2014)
  • MCW Progress Report – Children in Military Custody – 2 Years On   (Sep 2014)