B'Tselem Publishes a New Report: " Standard Routine -
Beatings and Abuse of Palestinians by Israeli Security Forces during the Al-Aqsa Intifada"
B'Tselem is issuing today a report on abuse by IDF soldiers and Border Police officers against Palestinians during the current intifada. The report presents twelve testimonies, drawn from the many dozens of testimonies on this subject that reached B'Tselem since the events began, which describe the maltreatment committed by security forces against twenty-two Palestinians, who range in age from three to fifty-eight.
The acts of abuse documented in the report are not exceptional. The phenomenon of beatings and abuse is not new. It is widespread and has become an integral part of the daily life of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. With the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa intifada, the abuse and beatings have increased significantly.
Israeli officials condemned the rare cases of abuse that were reported, and abuse and beatings are not part of declared defense establishment policy. However, no real effort has been made to uproot the phenomenon, and all the promises made in this regard have been no more than lip service.
B'Tselem urges the Israeli authorities to take, at least, the following measures:
- Clarify unequivocally to all security forces serving in the Occupied Territories, through detailed education and information programs, the absolute prohibition on abusing and beating Palestinians, even when they ostensibly violate the law;
- Seriously investigate every complaint filed by Palestinians regarding beatings and abuse by security forces;
- Suspend, until the end of the investigation against them, police officers and soldiers suspected of using force; where the investigation indicates that the complaint is justified, prosecute the offenders.
- Require all security forces coming in contact with the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Territories to wear identification tags in Hebrew and Arabic.