In Israel and the Palestinian Territories already occupied for 48 years, the “rule of law” attempts to incorporate right and wrong in two very different legal situations under one regime. During those 48 years, legal responsibility for the safety and well-being of the Palestinian residing in the Occupied Territories has been in the hands of the Israel Defense Forces. One of the keys to maintaining the image of adherence to the “rule of law” is the creation of a mechanism for examining complaints against violations by the security forces. The mechanism responsible for examining complaints against the IDF is the Military Police Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU or Metzakh). The CIU has the authority to criminally prosecute every soldier who acts unlawfully. Yet this authority remains theoretical rather than actual.
133 complaints were filed by PCATI with the CIU regarding soldier violence towards detainees in the Occupied Territories between 2007 and 2013. This report scrutinizes the manner in which these complaints were examined. It finds that only two became indictments, on assault charges: under two percent of the complaints. Such statistics show that the CIU’s actual role is to cover up systematic violations and create the illusion that they are examined – instead of investigating and sanctioning the perpetrators.
The activities of this “examination mechanism” which absolves every interrogator, policeperson or soldier of almost any sin, misconduct or crime, essentially “launders” the Occupation and creates the illusion of law-abiding security forces.