Israel Police claims unable to enforce law on West Bank settlers

The head of Israel Police’s West Bank division claims that he is incapable of indicting settlers in the West Bank. His reason? The location. 

The IDF issued temporary eviction orders on Thursday to 12 Jewish residents of the West Bank accused of planning attacks against Palestinians and the IDF.  The eviction orders range from anywhere between three and nine months. It is not clear where these people will reside during their eviction period and whether they are permitted to be in other parts of the West Bank or if they must be on the other side of the Green Line.

No charges were brought against them but rather the military claims it has information that is sufficient for their expulsion. This is an administrative expulsion order – the same practice that is used against Palestinian in the West Bank, where no proof of evidence is necessary, and no trial is conducted.

Why are these suspects not undergoing the due process of a trial? As a citizen, am I supposed to be put at east by the fact that they are distanced from their homes by the military without the chance to defend themselves – only to simply return to their homes at some point? In this case, I must agree with the settlers’ legal representation:

Honenu, a NGO that provides right-wing activists and soldiers with legal representation, and which is aiding the expelled extremists, said that Israel “reached a new low in human rights in the West Bank.” “If there’s a case against these youths then an indictment should be submitted, not out of court measures taken without proof or evidence,” Honenus said, adding that action through warrants was a step “worthy of military regimes in totalitarian countries.”

Honenu’s statement in fact only substantiates what Israeli “leftists” have been saying for years: there are two distincts systems of law in the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan.

In another related story, Israel Police told the government today it is having a hard time issuing indictments against law-breakers in the West Bank because they are unable to gather sufficient evidence “due to the location of the crimes.” As Haim Rahamim, head of the investigations and intelligence wing of the Judea and Samaria District in the West Bank told the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee:

Ten people were arrested, but they were not indicted so they were released,” said Rahamim. “We have a problem with gathering evidence due to the location of where the crimes are committed.

What does that mean, “due to the location?” Why is it hard to gather evidence in the West Bank? Israel’s entire system of logic relies on its ability to instill order and security in the occupied Palestinian territories.  It should be easier to gather evidence there than inside Israel proper. The report does not specify what the problem is with the location, which is also faulty journalism.

Either way, by specifying the location of the crimes as a problem, this appears to be open admission by a senior security official that the police is incapable of enforcing basic criminal law on settlers in the West Bank. And the expulsion could also just be Netanyahu’s way of showing that something is being done to crack down on extremist settlers in order to give the semblance of justice in a place that is so obviously bereft of it.