A report from Israeli rights organization Yesh Din shows 91% of Palestinian complaints about settler violence on the West Bank end without indictments. Yesh Din has filed such cases of behalf of West Bank Palestinians since 2005. The report shows that 488 of the 539 cases, or 91%, filed by Yesh Din were closed without indictments. In 315 cases, police cited “assailant unknown” as the reason for this and in 33 cases “no criminal culpableness” was found.
One of these cases was filed in 2009 by a Palestinian who claimed three men attacked him, two of them masked. He said they beat him with sticks and axe-handles, after which he was taken to a Qalqilya hospital and then filed a report with the Ariel police. Yesh Din says the Palestinian provided a description of the unmasked man and subsequently recognized him in a line-up. However, the suspect was not interrogated by police and the case was closed and filed under “assailant unknown” less than a month later. An appeal filed by the organization caused the court to reopen the case and order police to investigate once more. Yesh Din legal advisor Michael Sfard called the failure to protect West Bank residents “a mark of Cain upon the brow of Israeli society.” (YNet, Feb. 16)