Itongadol.- The Military Advocate General (MAG) reported that the number of indictments filed against West Bank Palestinians on charges of terror acts has risen by 20% in 2012, compared to 2011.
IDF: 20% more West Bank terror act charges in 2012
The charges pertain to security issues and include planning of terror attacks and possession of weapons with intent to execute terror attacks but not public disturbances.
According to the MAG, the rise indicates a change from the five-year period between 2006 and 2011, which were considered quiet in regard to security issues in the West Bank.
According to the data, if the rise continues at the same pace recorded since the beginning of 2013, the increase will hike to 50% compared to 2011.
The MAG objected to a Knesset initiative according to which Jews suspected of terror acts or "price tag" activities in the territories will face trial in military court.
"Israelis should be tried in non-military courts," a high-ranking IDF official told Ynet on Tuesday. "It\’s wrong to assume that military courts\’ legal system is stricter than that of non-military. Moreover, I don\’t think that such a move would increase deterrence levels against \’price tag\’ offenders."
The official added that the option to try Jewish terrorists in military court had presented itself in the past: "We were in the same situation in the \’90s, after the massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein at the Cave of the Patriarchs, and even then the Shamgar Report was against the move (to try Israelis in military court)."
Nowadays, Israelis who are taken in for questioning under suspicion of attacking Palestinians or soldiers are brought to a remand hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. Palestinians charged with criminal or security offenses in the West Bank, however, are tried in West Bank military courts.
Prosecution of IDF officers
Following complaints by Palestinian lawyers and humanitarian groups representing families from the Gaza Strip, the MAG decided to launch probes into 165 cases in which IAF aircraft struck terror hubs in the strip during Operation Pillar of Defense.
Following the probes, the IDF will determine whether to launch criminal investigations against IDF officers.
Since the Gaza op, some 65 probes into similar cases ended without criminal investigations being launched.