Every year Yesh Din publishes a data sheet that collects and analyses information based on its monitoring of the outcomes of investigation files it is overseeing. Since its founding, Yesh Din has monitored 938 files opened by various units within the Samaria and Judea (SJ) District Police following complaints submitted by Palestinians, with the help of the organization.
The data shows that between 2005 and 2013 just 8.5 percent of investigation files ended with the indictment of Israelis suspected of harming Palestinians and their property. An examination of the circumstances surrounding the closure of the files by the SJ District Police shows that 84 percent of the files in which a final decision had been taken were closed due to police investigative failures. In the vast majority of cases, the investigators failed to locate the offenders or to collect sufficient evidence for prosecution.
The police investigations were opened following offenses that involve, inter alia, shootings, violent assaults, stone throwing, arson, cutting down trees, injury to livestock, theft of crops, construction on Palestinian-owned land, threats and harassment.
The figures are almost identical to the findings already discovered in previous years, which means that in the last year there has been no improvement in the SJ District Police’s ability to investigate offenses committed by Israeli citizens against Palestinians and their property. Its continued failure stems from a series of systematic failures and deficiencies in the management of files, as was extensively examined in a 2006 report by Yesh Din called Semblance of Law. The report indicated that more than half the investigation files examined were characterized by negligence, unprofessional conduct, a minute amount of investigative practices and failure to meet the accepted standards of investigation.
Despite the fact that these problems have been known for years, the report showed that over half the investigation files examined were marred by negligence, a lack of professionalism, a paucity of investigative actions, and failure to meet accepted standards for police investigations. Although these problems have been known for years, the figures show that no meaningful action has been taken to rectify the situation and improve the quality of investigations.