Since 2005, Yesh Din has been monitoring the outcomes of investigations of 1,045 cases opened by the various Samaria and Judea (SJ) District Police units, following complaints filed by Palestinians with the assistance of Yesh Din. The updated data indicates that between 2005-2014, a mere 7.4 percent investigation files led to indictments of Israeli civilians suspected of attacking Palestinians and their property, reflecting a decline of approximately one percent in the rate of such indictments issued to the courts following investigations into incidents of damage to Palestinians and their property, compared with previous Yesh Din data.
Examination of the grounds provided for the closure of the files by the SJ District Police reveals that 85.2 percent of the police files concluded were closed due to the police’s failure to investigate properly. The vast majority (788 investigative files) was closed due to the investigators’ failure to locate offenders or collect sufficient evidence for prosecution.
The data sheet shows a detailed distribution of the types of offenses that Israeli citizens are suspected of committing against Palestinians, and includes, among other things, shooting incidents, violent assault, stoning, arson, attacks on animals, theft of agricultural produce, construction on privately-owned Palestinian land, threats, and more.
The data sheet also includes information on police investigations into vandalism of trees between 2005-2014. The cumulative data shows that out of 246 investigation files opened by the SJ District Police during these years, 226 files were closed on grounds that indicate investigative failure.
The SJ District Police’s ongoing failure is due to a series of failings and systematic deficiencies in the way investigations are managed, as described in detail in Yesh Din’s report, A Semblance of Law published in 2006. The report revealed that over half of the investigations Yesh Din examined were characterized by negligence, lack of professionalism, insufficient investigative actions, and failure to meet accepted investigation standards. Yesh Din’s monitoring shows that the grave failings and deficiencies reviewed in the 2006 report have not been addressed, and continue to affect the SJ District Police’s investigations