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New Israel law would grant immunity to border cops in occupied East Jerusalem

June 22, 2018 at 12:47 pm

A Palestinian man is carried by Israeli border police officers [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is advancing an amendment that would give Border Police forces operating in occupied East Jerusalem “immunity from lawsuits” for damages they cause in the course of acting against “terror or rioting”, reported Haaretz.

The paper explains that “under the current law, Israel Defence Forces soldiers and Border Police troops are protected from damage suits filed by Palestinians, as long as they were acting ‘on the grounds of combat activity’”, but “this protection is valid only in the West Bank”.

As context, Haaretz reports that “over the past year the police have fielded ten lawsuits by East Jerusalem residents who say they have suffered harm at the hands of Border Police forces during various operations”. Until now, police cannot cite “combat activity” as a reason for immunity.

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The report also claims that Israel’s “defence establishment is expecting a wave of lawsuits” resulting from confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound “over the past two years”, many of which are expected to be filed “just before the statute of limitations on the incidents expires”.

Just six months ago, Israeli authorities paid compensation to a resident of Shuafat in occupied East Jerusalem who sued the state in 2014, “claiming that three years earlier he had been injured by Border Police gunfire during a demonstration near his home”.