A report in Haaretz newspaper has revealed that Palestinians paid more than $3.6 million in fines to the Israeli occupation authorities in 2011 alone. This is the recorded value of the fines collected by the Ofer and Salem military courts.
According to the newspaper, this comes at a time when Palestinians request the boycott of settlements and Israel, which they regard as an important part of the popular resistance against the occupation. "The fines," claims Haaretz, "reveal the clear fact that there is no internal Palestinian debate for following a tactic that is based on the refusal to pay the fines imposed by the occupation's military courts."
The article, headed "That's how Palestinians fund the occupation", pointed out that the fines are being imposed in the majority of convictions made against the Palestinians whose cases are heard in military courts in the occupied West Bank. Such convictions include everything related to traffic offences, criminal acts, staying in Israel without a permit and resistance-related activities. The military courts record that almost 5,000 traffic offences were recorded in 2011.
Illegal Jewish settlers who break the law in the West Bank face civilian courts in Israel if, indeed, they are ever prosecuted for the numerous violent attacks which take place against Palestinians.