PCATI demands the prompt and impartial investigation of extrajudicial killing of suspects by the Israeli police and army

Since the beginning of the current wave of violence in Israel and Palestine we have been witnessing shocking attacks and executions carried out by civilians. Unfortunately, the Israeli security forces respond to these situations with the worrying trend to excessively use firearms to kill the attackers or anyone suspected of being an attacker. The frightened crowd may be driven by fear and the lack of control. However, it should be the task of the security forces to take proportionate control of such situations and act in a manner consistent with the nature of each incident.

Israeli police officers and soldiers are expected to know when to shoot to kill, and when the attacker poses no more direct threat to the public. It becomes dangerous when security forces lose restraint and shoot to kill indiscriminately. PCATI demands that the Israeli police and army cease the excessive use of force and that extrajudicial killings of suspects by the Israeli forces are investigated promptly and impartially.

PCATI invigorates its assessment work on the ground and increases the number of prison visits to document torture and ill-treatment in the face of the current wave of violence

Due to the continuously deteriorating security situation Israeli forces have been carrying out mass arrests of Palestinians in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Statistics prepared by Addameer show that since the beginning of October, 942 Palestinians have been arrested, including 144 children; 543 of them from the West Bank, 247 from East Jerusalem and 152 from within Israel.

PCATI has quickly reacted and invigorated its activities on the ground in response to the mass arrests. Over the course of the past three weeks we have assessed 92 cases. These assessments have led to 26 prison visits and the recording of 26 testimonies. Victims have complained about the increased use of violence by the army, police and the Israeli Security Agency. Sexual harassment, beatings, painful shackling over a prolonged period of time, exposure to subhuman conditions (such as exposure to inclement weather, sub-par sanitary conditions and low quality of food and drinking water), as well as psychological torture (especially the use of family members during interrogations) were mentioned by the visited detainees as methods used by the Israeli security forces as means of punishment.   

In the coming weeks PCATI will continue invigorating its assessment work on the ground and visiting those recently being arrested. We will continue report on the findings of this work and expose any new instances of torture and ill-treatment.

Enhance the right to assembly and protest in Israel by combating police brutality and impunity of violent police officers – PCATI is proud to announce its new three-year project initiative

In the context of the worsening political climate in Israel, police do not only use excessive force and violence against security suspects but also against civilians, such as demonstrators and activists.

According to the Ministry of Justice, of the 11,282 complaints filed against police officers with the Police Investigation Department (PID) between 2011 and 2013, only 306 cases led to a criminal process and 373 led to a disciplinary process. The rest were closed due to an alleged lack of evidence, lack of public interest or they were never even looked into.[1]

In 2013 alone, 847 complaints were dismissed without any investigation, and 1,104 were dismissed on the basis of lack of public interest. The growing abuse of power by police officers against civilians is an alarming trend in Israel. The fact that the PID has been reluctant to effectively address this trend is even more troubling.

With our new three-year project started in October, PCATI is aiming at systematically combatting impunity of violent police officers, and challenging the PID’s notorious dismissal of complaints. A PCATI attorney now focuses her attention on the monitoring of demonstrations and protests across Israel, the provision of legal advice to activists on the spot, and she will pursue legal actions against violent police officers. Meanwhile, PCATI will provide civil society activists with legal skills and knowledge so that they are better able to monitor and contest police brutality by themselves. The project is supported by the New Israel Fund.
[1] Reported by the Haaretz,, in September 2014
Copyright © 2015 Public Committee against Torture in Israel, All rights reserved.

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