Few Israeli soldiers charged in abuse cases: rights group

JERUSALEM - Only six percent of all investigations into alleged abuse of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers led to prosecutions over the past decade, an Israeli human rights group said on Thursday.
Military police carried out 1,805 investigations between 2000 and 2009, and in just 105 instances were charges filed, according to the group Yesh Din ("There is a law" in Hebrew).

Israeli soldiers in Netanya
Israeli soldiers in Netanya
Those 105 in turn saw a total of 161 soldiers charged, most of whom were given light sentences under deals between their lawyers and the prosecution, Yesh Din said.
In all, only four soldiers have been convicted for the killing of four civilians -- three Palestinians and Briton Tom Hurndall, a pacifist mortally wounded in the Gaza Strip in 2003.
The 1,805 investigations include 36 that were carried out following the devastating Israeli assault on Gaza at the end of 2008 in which more than 1,400 Palestinians died.
Of those, only one resulted in a soldier being jailed for seven and half months for the theft of a credit card.
Lior Yavne, head of research for the organisation, said the numbers "show the inability of the army's judicial branch to ensure the protection of Palestinian victims of soldiers."

Thursday, February 4th 2010

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