Since 2005, Yesh Din has monitored the handling of Samaria and Judea (SJ) District Police investigations into complaints filed by Palestinians for offenses committed by Israeli civilians against them and their property, examining the extent to which the State of Israel carries out its duty to protect the Palestinian population and their property in the West Bank.
As of publication of this position paper, Yesh Din has monitored the police handling of over 600 complaints filed by Palestinians in SJ District Police stations since 2005, and it has published yearly monitoring updates that reveal an astonishingly high rate of failure by the Israeli law enforcement authorities in their investigations. Indeed, Israeli suspects were identified and prosecuted in only 8 percent of investigations. Yesh Din has researched and analyzed the reasons for these failures and has identified policies adopted by the IDF and the Israeli authorities that promote a culture of impunity and facilitate continued violations of the law.
The position paper includes a list of targeted recommendations for policy reform which Yesh Din believes will help improve law enforcement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on Israeli citizens involved in harming Palestinians and their property:
1) Protecting Palestinians and their property should be a defined mission of the IDF regional brigade commanders in the West Bank; their relative achievement should be measured as an indicator of their success in their mission, and should be included as a parameter in their professional review and evaluation for promotion.
2) All armed civilian units under the auspices of the Civilian Security Coordinators should be disarmed and disbanded. In their place, the IDF should provide military protection of settlements when necessary.
3) Reversal of the current policy, whereby the IDF does not provide videotapes from security cameras to the SJ District Police following incidents of suspected offences by Israeli civilians.
4) The legal advisor for Judea and Samaria reverse his declared intention to refuse permits into the closed military zones for those wishing to accompany and assist Palestinians during the olive harvest this year. Palestinians must be given permits for themselves and whomever they invite to assist them.