Military Police: “Most Abuse Complaints Against Soldiers Never Make It To Court”

Friday April 15, 2011 09:19 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies 

Commander of the Israeli Military Police, Brigadier General, Meir Ohanna, admitted Thursday that most complaints of abuse practiced by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians end up without an investigation, court and even a disciplinary measure.

File - Soldiers Attacking A Palestinian Child - Maan Images
File – Soldiers Attacking A Palestinian Child – Maan Images

His statements were made as he was testifying in front of the Turkel Committee that was assigned to investigate army conducts, and means of interrogation practiced by the Police.

He said that only %6-9 of the complaints lead to actual indictments, while the rest just get ignored, voided or shelved.

Ohanna stated that the police initiated investigations into 50 complaints against soldiers in 2011, adding that Human Rights groups in such as B’Tselem and Adalah play an important role in lodging these complaints.

Hundreds of cases were filed against Israeli soldiers and policemen for abusing local Palestinians, violently attacking and kidnapping them, but the complaints never made to any court as the army leadership ignores or just voids them.

Three days ago, Israeli Military Advocate general, Avichai Mandelblit, testified for more than three hours in front of the Turkel Committee.

The Turkel Committee is also in charge of an internal “investigation” the deadly attack against the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.

The Army violently boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, part of the Freedom Flotilla, killing nine Turkish peace activists and wounding dozens.

The army found “no wrongdoing on behalf of the soldiers”, claiming that they acted within the “rules of engagement”.

Mandelblit claimed that the investigations are compliant with the International Law, and that Israel wants to “maintain the rule of law, while at the same time must maintaining the military capabilities to win its battles”.

The issue is similar to Israel’s “investigation” of its army’s conduct during the war on Gaza, and its claim that the army acted within the “rules of engagement”, despite the fact that most of the 1419 Palestinians who were killed during the three-week war on Gaza, initiated on December 27, 2008, were civilians, including children, women and elderly.

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