Israels Culture of Impunity: Nothing Less than Accountability!
- Urge Israel to ensure accountability for violations for IHL and IHRL by its army in the OPT, by conducting investigations into alleged violations in line with international standards, prosecuting and sentencing those responsible;
- Urge the Israeli government to fully implement the recommendations of the Turkel Commission and, in this regard, to immediately provide a clear time-table of implementation;
- Ensure that Palestinian victims have adequate access to Israeli courts and effective remedy;
- Condition its relations with Israel on respect for IHL and IHRL.
- Israel’s Impunity in Facts and Figures
Israel’s Impunity in Facts and FiguresIn relation to Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of DefenseOnly 3 indictments have been filed against Israeli soldiers in relation to Operation Cast Lead.Two soldiers were convicted to a 2 month imprisonment sentence for using a nine-year-old boy as a human shield. The third soldier, who was prosecuted for stealing a credit card, was paradoxically convicted to a sterner seven-and-a-half months of prison.Of the 25 complaints submitted by The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights to the Military Advocate General 6 criminal investigations were opened none of which lead to indictment or compensation. This despite the gravity of the offences (including the use of civilians as human shields) and the fact that the testimonies of Israeli soldiers matched those provided by the victims.In relation to Pillar of Defense, no indictments have been filed, No indictments have been handed down as a result of the 246 civil complaints submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the 79 complaints to the Israeli Military Advocate General by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR). Of the 17 complaints submitted to the Military Advocate General by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 3 were dismissed on the basis that the soldiers acted within the rules of the law of war and 3 investigations were opened without further updates provided over the past 6 months. The remaining 11 cases received no responseraising serious questions regarding promptness.On 16 July 2012, the Israeli Knesset approved Amendment No. 8 to the Israeli Civil Wrongs Law (Liability of the State),which exempts the State of Israel of any liability arising from the damages caused to a resident of an enemy territory during a ‘combat action’ or ‘military operation’. As this Amendment applies to the Gaza Strip retroactively from 2005 onwards, Israel has effectively exempted itself of any liability for the victims of Operation Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense.Total impunity for torture of Palestinian detaineesAccording to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel of the over 750 complaints of torture filed against Israel’s Security Agency (ISA) interrogators over the last decade, none have been criminally investigated by the Attorney General,.Impunity regarding Israeli soldiers violations in the West BankAccording to the Israeli NGO Yesh Din, 3.638 complaints have been filed for criminal investigations of Israeli Defence Forces personnel between 2000 and 2012. These have resulted in only 117 indictments (3.2%).Settler violenceAccording to figures compiled by Yesh Din,91% of investigations into crimes committed by Israeli settlers are closed without indictment. 84% of those closed without indictment are closed due to investigation failures.