Yesh DinVolunteers for Human Rights
90% of investigations of Israeli attacks against Palestinians are closed without indictments
Graffiti sprayed in the West Bank village of Bitillu. Photo: Yesh Din
The data sheet includes findings based on 642 investigation files opened in recent years by the Judea and Samaria police, based on complaints filed by Palestinian citizens of the West Bank, that Yesh Din has been following.
The findings show that only 9 percent out of 642 investigations which Yesh Din is monitoring, have resulted in indictments filed against defendants. The clear majority of investigations – more than 90 percent – are closed on grounds that suggest that the investigation has failed.
The percentage of failed investigations is exceptionally high in the case of investigations into offenses of violence against Palestinians and damage to their property. 78 percent of violence cases and 93 percent of cases of damage to property were closed on grounds that suggest that those investigations have failed.
These findings indicate that the State of Israel is not fulfilling its obligation to maintain an effective law enforcement mechanism on Israeli citizens who commit offenses, among them grave offenses, against Palestinian citizens in the territories it occupies.
According to Yesh Din's research department, the findings suggest a chronic failure of investigations, especially in cases pertaining to violence and damage to property. Since only a fraction of the cases result in indictments, there is a very slim chance that complaints filed by Palestinians for violence or property offenses carried out by Israelis will result in indictments.
Since it was founded in 2005, Yesh Din has been maintaining a database of cases in which Israeli citizens were involved in acts of violence, theft or damage to property against unarmed Palestinian civilians. Yesh Din monitors investigations and provides legal representation to complainants. The monitoring is carried out in order to gauge whether the State of Israel – via the Israeli Judea and Samaria Police - is fulfilling its obligation to protect Palestinian citizens and their property.
Yesh Din's monitoring constitutes the only source of findings regarding the outcomes of investigations into such offenses, as no formal Israeli official holds complete data about these types of investigations, or their results.
The full datasheet