Israel’s ‘flawed law enforcement’ does not account Palestinians and Israelis equally

Israeli Border Police officers arrest a man in East Jerusalem (Mostafa alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 2, 2022

A significantly higher number of Palestinian citizens of Israel are charged with indictments, convictions and sentences for incitement to violence compared to Israelis, according to the Israel Religious Action Centre (IRAC).

The report, covering the years 2014 to 2021, found 77 per cent of all indictments for incitement to violence and racism were filed against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up only 20 per cent of the country’s population.

Written by the Religious Action Centre attorneys, Ori Narov and Orly Erez-Likhovsky, the report states that, “The data clearly shows an insufficient enforcement policy” reported Haaretz.

“The prosecution’s policy on incitement by Jews, in particular, is characterized by foot-dragging and delays,” it added.

The report reveals 51 per cent of indictments against Palestinians were filed within a month of when the alleged violation occurred. Meanwhile, 42 per cent of indictments against Israelis were filed one to two years after the incitement occurred, while another 21 per cent were filed two to six years later.

Moreover, 99 per cent of convicted Palestinian citizens on indictment charges received a jail sentence, while around 54 per cent of Jews received no jail time.

Additionally, the report also highlighted that the law enforcement system suffers from “a long, thunderous silence about the wild, unbridled incitement of rabbis who pretend to base themselves on Jewish law.” However, the same is not considered for Muslim clerics.

The organization clarified it does not call for fewer indictments of Palestinians who make “grave statements that justify filing indictments, but rather doing the same for Jews accused of making similar remarks.”

It accused the prosecution’s flawed enforcement of the laws against incitement of “enabling many inflammatory activists to continue inciting as much as they please without being called to account for it. This situation both pollutes the public square and endangers human life.”

poll published earlier this year by Israeli Channel 12 revealed that 83 per cent of the so-called “Arab Israelis” believe that the state practices “institutional racism” against the Palestinian community. Two-thirds say that they have faced discrimination within Israeli institutions.

The vast majority of Palestinian citizens of Israel have been exposed to one or more forms of racial discrimination by public institutions and in public places, the poll revealed.