B'tselem, a group that focuses on accusing the IDF of abusing Arabs, published a report Tuesday that rehashes accusations it has made in the past, just in time for the start of 'peace' talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The B'tselem report accuses the IDF of failing to investigate most of the alleged cases of abuse that B'tselem has filed complaints about.
In a reaction to the report, the IDF pointed out that the charge is erroneous as most of the cases it details were already enumerated in a High Court motion filed earlier in the year by B'tselem, a motion which the IDF has responded to. It is awaiting a judicial decision.
B'tselem is funded by the New Israel Fund, which is a strategic partner of the Ford Foundation.
The report was widely quoted in the Israeli and Arab press, and by news outlets in Iran, the US, Britain and the rest of the world. It adorned news pages alongside reports about the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, presumably playing into the hands of the PA, which demands Israel cease the “occupation” of Judea and Samaria.
"Most of the subjects and the claims raised in the B'tselem report are currently pending in the High Court, in a motion the group has filed on this subject,” the IDF Spokesman said. “The state has filed a comprehensive response to these claims as part of its reply to the motion and it seems the organization would do well to await a High Court decision.”
Arutz Sheva went over the list of individual cases enumerated by B'tselem and found that in some of them, the investigation is ongoing and B'tselem was made aware of this, and in others the IDF has indeed looked into B'tselem's accusations and found them to be unsubstantiated.
Attorney Shmuel Tzipori of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel claimed in response to the B'tselem report that the IDF launched about 500 investigations against soldiers following the Cast Lead operation. While the vast majority of these cases will be closed without charges being filed, the effect they have on soldiers is a dangerous one, he warned: if soldiers are afraid to open fire in wartime, they will not be able to fight effectively.