Honenu to IDF: Disclose IDF-Betzelem working procedures

Tuesday, December 1, 2015, 12:27 Following the uncovering of a document indicating close cooperation between the IDF and the left-wing Betzelem organization Honenu turned to the Military Advocate General in a demand to disclose the working procedures between them and Betzelem.
The document was uncovered by Tzion Amir, an attorney representing Ben Deri for Honenu, in the framework of a case investigating border policeman Ben Deri, who is accused of killing an Arab rioter on “Naqba Day” in May 2014.
Following the uncovering of the document, in November 2015 Honenu turned to the current Military Advocate for Operational Matters, Lieutenant-Colonel Adoram Rigler in a demand that the working procedures which the former Military Advocate for Operational Matters Lt.-Col. Ronen Hirsch mentioned be revealed. However the IDF is currently refraining from publicizing the procedures. An excerpt of the document: “I served as the Military Advocate for Operational Matters for close to four years,” wrote Lieutenant-Colonel Hirsch. “During those years we deepened our productive dialogue with the Betzelem organization, formed common procedures and carefully adhered to the appropriate norms of conduct and ethics. All of this was out of regard for the common interest of actively enforcing complaints relating to the actions of IDF soldiers.”
In a letter to Lt.-Col Rigler Honenu wrote, “As you are aware, the Betzelem organization is a highly controversial organization, and in the opinion of many individuals in the State of Israel the Betzelem organization slanders IDF soldiers.”
Honenu notes the guidelines of the Attorney General on the importance of publicizing the working procedures of public authorities and demands answers to the following questions, “Are there other outside organizations with similar orientations with which the various branches of the Military Advocate General have a working relationship of any capacity? If so, what are the details of the working relationship with them?”
Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu, which provides legal counsel to IDF soldiers investigated for their actions during military operations, stated that, “This document explains the lack of trust between IDF soldiers and the Military Advocate General. Why is the Military Advocate General avoiding giving a transparent answer and refusing to publicize what the working procedures are between them and Betzelem?”

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