Security Prisoner
Security Detainee
Administrative Detainee
Total
9.3.2012

For years the Military Advocate General kept "badgering" a Palestinian man who complained of damage done to his home by soldiers: although he gave his statement three times, the Military Advocate General closed the case due to the complainant's lack of cooperation

On April 3, 2002, soldiers seized the home of a Nablus resident, a pharmacist by profession, and remained there for 8 days. The soldiers packed the occupants of the house – 25 in number –into a crowded two room apartment for the duration of their stay, subjecting them to intimidations and treating them in a humiliating and degrading manner. In following year, the military seized the house three more times, in a manner both harsh and violent, while harming the dignity of its occupants, who were repeatedly forced to crowd into the two rooms. The soldiers caused severe damage to the occupants' property: three cars owned by members of the family which were parked close to the house, were crushed to clear space for the armoured personnel carriers; the outside fence, as well as furniture, decorative items, and electronic equipment inside the house were damaged; some money, jewelry and electronic items were even stolen.

In late July 2003, HaMoked requested the Military Advocate General (MAG) to investigate the events and prosecute those culpable. Although HaMoked kept updating the MAG that the soldiers continued to seize the house even after the complaint had been filed, it was only in November 2004, after HaMoked had filed a compensation lawsuit on behalf of the pharmacist over the damage to his property and the injury to the dignity of the occupants, that the case was referred for investigation by the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU). A MPIU investigation finally opened in March 2005, close to the date set for the state's submission of its statement of defense in the lawsuit.

On April 18, 2005, the pharmacist arrived at the Israeli District Coordination Office in Nablus and gave his statement of the events to the MPIU investigators. Three weeks later, the investigators tried to summon him again to the DCO. When HaMoked inquired by phone the reason for the second summons, the investigators answered that they wished to obtain from him photographs and additional documents attesting to the damage – a bewildering reply, considering that the man had not been instructed to bring any such documents with him. HaMoked forwarded the requested documentation to the MAG, thus the summons were made redundant. Although HaMoked pointed out to the MPIU that there was no need to bother the man with recurrent summons to the DCO, as HaMoked, daily in contact with state authorities, was handling his case, the investigators tried to summon him using various pretexts again and again every few weeks. Mostly, the summons turned out to be unnecessary and pointless. In the following two years, the file was transferred from one investigator to another, from the MPIU back to the MAG, then back again to the MPIU and once more to the MAG. The man had to appear at the DCO on two more occasions to complete his statement. After HaMoked demanded in November 2006 that in any further summons for the pharmacist, the MAG would state the reason for the summons and explain its pertinence to the investigation's progress– the summons finally stopped.

Over the course of the following year, HaMoked repeatedly requested updates on the status of investigation. Its inquiries were not answered. Even the fact that the state paid the man ILS 84,000 in a settlement of the lawsuit, did not lead the MAG to decide to prosecute the soldiers responsible. Instead, , three years after the pharmacist first gave his statement and after he supplied supplementary statements twice, in April 2008, the investigators–again–sought to summon him to give a statement. In response, HaMoked informed that given the problematic handling of the investigation hitherto and the fact that the man had given statements three times, HaMoked would not continue to coordinae further summons for additional statements from the man and his family.   HaMoked also requested to finaly receive the investigation material in the file.

For four years, nothing was heard from the MAG. Only in March 2012, seven years after the complaint was made, did the response arrive: the MAG announced its decision to close the case without any legal action against any of the involved. The reason: "in view of the refusal of the complainant's relatives to cooperate with the MPIU".
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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