The European Union is funding a project to prosecute Israel Defence Forces (IDF) officers for committing violations against Palestinian civilians, according to Israel Hayom, which quotes a local human rights organisation.
The pro-Israel group NGO Monitor analyses the funding and performance of non-governmental organisations which keep an eye on violations committed by the IDF. “Following the request of Israeli human rights organisations,” it reported, “the European Union has begun funding a project for the prosecution of Israeli military staff involved in the violation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Human rights groups have confirmed their belief that Israel “does not conduct serious investigations into the violations its soldiers are committing against the Palestinians.” What’s more, they added, the military judiciary “almost always” acquits IDF personnel suspected of violations, especially those committed during raids on Palestinian homes.
According to Israel Hayom, the EU allocated a budget of €250,000 until November 2019 for the project – “The Culture of Impunity among the Members of the Israeli Security Forces” – and the budget is open for the coming years. The project is expected to last until 2021. Israeli rights group Yesh Din (“There is Law”) is behind the EU project, in partnership with other organisations, including Doctors for Human Rights and the Breaking the Silence movement.
The project aims to establish an “evidence bank” by collecting testimonies on IDF activities and attacks through providing Palestinian women with video cameras to record violations during house raids. Israeli human rights organisations say that they are seeking to put political pressure on the government by putting the IDF’s apparent impunity at the top of the international agenda so that it is one of the issues discussed by foreign governments and their Israeli counterpart.