The Associated Press has moved this story about Israeli military justice, quoting critics who contend that the system has tended not to prosecute IDF personnel suspected of criminal offenses against Palestinians. Excerpts:
While the military has stressed that its courts are independent, critics say the system has a poor record of punishing errant soldiers, perpetuating a culture of impunity. They say the same result is likely for the soldier [involved in the recent highly publicized case from Hebron], who is expected to be formally charged in the coming days.
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The military insists the system works, saying the low indictment rate does not signal lack of effort. They say the system is independent and that proper measures are taken if there are legal grounds to try and punish a soldier. Early this year, for instance, two soldiers were jailed for seven and nine months for physically abusing Palestinian prisoners.
"It's true there aren't a lot of cases, but that's not because they are avoiding prosecuting soldiers on purpose," said Emmanuel Gross, a former military judge.