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Posted on 10 August 2016
 as part of 

Israel opened 24 criminal investigations into the killing and injury of Palestinians since October 2015, leading to one indictment

The last quarter of 2015 was marked by a sharp rise in stabbing, ramming and shooting attacks by unaffiliated Palestinians against Israelis, as well as almost daily protests and related clashes. As a consequence, the number of casualties among West Bank Palestinians (145 fatalities and over 14,000 injuries) in 2015 was the highest since 2005, when OCHA began documenting incidents. Israeli casualties in the West Bank and Israel were also the highest since 2005 (25 fatalities and 300 injuries). The frequency and intensity of protests and clashes declined sharply during the first half of 2016 alongside a more moderate fall in Palestinian attacks.

The response by Israeli forces to many of these incidents has raised concern about possible excessive use of force and even extra-judicial executions. According to the Israeli office of the Attorney General,[1] between October 2015 and June 2016 the Israeli authorities opened a total of 24 criminal investigations into incidents resulting in the death or injury of Palestinians by its security forces in the West Bank and Israel. Of these, one has led to the indictment and prosecution of a soldier.[2] Another 142 cases have been “examined”; in half (71 cases) the relevant authority[3] determined that “no additional legal or disciplinary proceedings were required”. The other 71 cases are still under review or awaiting a decision about follow up.  In October 2015, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinian civilians and injured another 237 during clashes near Gaza’s perimeter fence, but none of these cases have led to the opening of criminal investigations.


[1] Letter to OCHA dated 15 July 2016.

[2] This case dates from 24 March 2016 when the perpetrator of a stabbing attack in Hebron was killed after he had already been shot and injured and reportedly no longer presented a threat.

[3] The Military Advocate General's Corps for soldiers and the Office of the State Attorney for policemen.