A Case Study in Complicity: The Israeli Government & Extremist Attacks Against Palestinians
Graffiti in Al Jeniya, West Bank reads "Death to Arabs" (PHOTO: Iyad Hadad, B'Tselem)
- According to Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, of the 642 cases of settler violence Palestinians reported to Israeli police between 2005 and 2012, 90% were closed after authorities failed to mount a proper investigation.
- Between September 2000 and December 2011, Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem lodged 57 complaints against Israeli soldiers who stood by and did nothing to prevent settler violence against Palestinians or their property. Of the 57 complaints, investigations were opened into only four, two of which were closed with no action taken.
- On May 12, 2014, two former heads of Israel's secret police, the Shin Bet, Carmi Gillon and Shabtai Shavit, accused the Netanyahu government of not being interested in stopping hate crimes against Palestinians. Gillon declared: "We don't see results, because we're not intended to see them... There's no such thing as 'can't do' in the Shin Bet, just 'don't want,'" while Shavit stated: "Israel is a lawful country that does not enforce its laws."
- In June 2012, Dan Halutz, former chief of staff of the Israeli Army, also said that the Netanyahu government isn't serious about stopping settler violence, stating: "If we wanted, we could catch them [settlers who are attacking Palestinians] and when we want to, we will."
- In March 2012, the Guardian newspaper reported that senior European Union officials had drafted a confidential report concluding that Jewish settlers are engaged in a systematic and growing campaign of violence against Palestinians and that "settler violence enjoys the tacit support of the state of Israel."
- Also in March 2012, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a report documenting the growing use of threats, violence and intimidation by Jewish settlers to deny Palestinians access to their water resources in the West Bank. The report criticized Israeli authorities for having "systematically failed to enforce the law on those responsible for these acts and to provide Palestinians with any effective remedy."
- In February 2012, it was revealed that Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman had been offering advice to extreme right-wing activists on how to seek pardons for Israeli Jews convicted of violent attacks against Palestinians and others.
- According to the US State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2013, which was released in April 2014:
"[In 2013, the] UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs reported 399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage. Violent extremists, including Israeli settlers, vandalized five mosques and three churches in Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to data compiled by the UN."
"Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank… were largely unprosecuted according to UN and NGO sources.”
For further reference, please see previously released IMEU fact sheet, A Culture of Impunity: Violence Against Non-Jews in Israel & the Occupied Territories (August 2012)