April 25, 1999
April 25, 1999
On March 25, 1999 Minister of Transporation Shaul Yahalom sent a letter to Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein, at which time he posed the following questions:
1. According to the Chief Army Prosecutor, criminal charges against palestinians will be filed only if it is in the public interest. “Public interest will be defined in accordance with policy regulations as determined by the IDF commander in the area, the chief army prosecutor…”
Please notify me as to the policy regulations concerning the closing of cases against Palestinian lawbreakers.
2. According to the same above-quoted document, the prosecution will not indict any Palestinian minors under the age of fourteen excepting unusual cases dealing with causal of death or similar crimes of a special seriousness.”
To the best of my knowledge Jewish minors are arrested in Judea, Samaria, and Gazza for crimes not considered to be serious, and are indicted on a regular basis. For example, an indictment was presented against Akiva Lebovitch of Hebron for “improper behaviour.”
How can you justify this discrimination in which the rules of law enforcement against Jewish minors is much stricter than that practiced against Palestinian lawbreakers?
3. According to the above-quoted document, if all are to be considered equal under the law, why is it necessary to obtain a special permit from the chief army prosecutor in order to indict a suspected Palestinian who has a “public position?”
4. According to the above-quoted document, the chief army prosecutor has determined that a Palestinian minor under the age of sixteen will not be arrested without obtaining a permit from the Judea and Samaria prosecutor’s office. Does this same rule apply to Jewish minors? As far as I know, it does not.
The difficult conclusions I reach is that the law enforcement policies in Judea, Samaria and Gazza are selective: more law enforcement against Jews and less against Palestinians. Unfortunately, I reach the conclusion that there is no equality before the law in Judea, Samaria and Gazza. This taints the settlers and endangers their lives. To a greater degree, this is liable to cause damage to the public faith in the law enforcement bodies, faith which is the soul of our democratic system.