Not one single investigation file opened by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Department (MPCID) in 2012 regarding soldiers suspected of harming Palestinians and their property led to indictments – as indicated by a data sheet published by Yesh Din. The data sheet, which addresses law enforcement on IDF soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza, clearly demonstrates that there is a significant drop in the rate of indictments issued against soldiers.
The data sheet, which includes information provided to Yesh Din by the IDF Spokesperson as well as the organization’s ongoing monitoring work, shows that in 2012, the MPCID received 240 complaints and various reports regarding suspected crimes allegedly committed by IDF soldiers against Palestinians and their property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In 78 of the 240 complaints filed, the MPCID opened a criminal investigation; another 25 investigation files were opened due to reports received in 2011. The MPCID opened a total of 103 criminal investigation files throughout 2012.
Data regarding the issuing of indictments against soldiers points to a sharp drop in the rate of indictments issued. Figures for 2009, 2010 and 2011 show that 14 investigation files out of the 534 opened during those three years led to indictments. In other words, only 2.62 percent. In 2012, only one indictment was issued against an IDF soldier accused of harming a Palestinian, and that was the result of an investigation opened in 2011.
The absence of an MPCID base in the West Bank largely explains why only six Palestinians managed to file complaints directly with the MPCID in 2012. The others were forced to seek the help of various intermediaries such as human rights organizations and the Israel Police.