Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 16:41 Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “The various branches of the law enforcement and security authorities must act for the sake of security for citizens. Rock throwing and other attacks on cars constitutes a life-threatening danger, and we demand law enforcement, prevention, neutralization, and bringing terrorists to trial.”
Rock terror in Yehuda and Shomron continues, but suspects are not being detained. Approximately two months ago terrorists threw rocks at an Israeli car on Route 60, near the Beit Anun Junction, damaging the car. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sent letters to the army and to the police, demanding that the suspects be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However the army replied that it is the responsibility of the police to apprehend rock-throwers, and the police have closed the case due to “perpetrator unknown”.
The attack is described in the letter: “The rocks hit my client’s car on the right side, miraculously did not cause him bodily injury and he continued to drive. However the rocks caused damage to the metalwork on the entire right side of the car, including the front and rear doors.”
Bleicher stressed that “Throwing rocks at a moving vehicle directly endangers the passengers and is liable to have fatal consequences.” Also in the letter Bleicher demanded that everything be done to bring the terrorists to trial for attempted murder or throwing stones at a vehicle with the intent to injure passengers. The demands include gathering video documentation from the security and traffic surveillance cameras in the area and carrying out intelligence operations “to the extent necessary to apprehend the terrorist.”
The answers received from the army and the police indicate that they are each transferring responsibility to the other. The Public Complaints Office at the Headquarters of the GOC of the Central Command replied to Bleicher that “Handling the investigation of the incident is under the responsibility of the Israeli Police, who are responsible for leading and conducting a thorough investigation. Collecting the investigative material is under the responsibility of the police as part of general investigation. All of the information about advancements in the investigation is held only by the police, and they are the address for receiving information on the subject.”
The Israeli Police responded to Bleicher with a letter explaining that the investigation was closed due to “perpetrator unknown”. Examination of the investigative material showed that no lead had been found for a suspect and in light of that the case was closed due to “perpetrator unknown”.
Bleicher noted that there is a double disconnect between the army and the police, which hampers the possibility of bringing terrorists to trial. The first disconnect occurs because the police do not initiate carrying out detentions in the Arab villages of Yehuda and Shomron, but rather wait until the army detains suspects. The army, for their part, concentrates primarily on preventing terror attacks and less on bringing rock throwers to trial, and therefore will rarely pursue and detain rock throwers who have already fled.
The second disconnect occurs because the police, who receive complaints from civilians about rock throwing, immediately close investigative cases on the grounds of “perpetrator unknown”, after issuing authorization for damage compensation, and are not aware of suspects detained by the army. The army, which does enter the villages and detain suspects, does not have the details from the victims of rock throwing. Thus it happens that even when the army detains a terrorist who admits to throwing rocks, they do not have details from the victim, because the police have already closed the case. Therefore the terrorists are sentenced to a much shorter prison term than they would have been if the specific victims had been included in the case.
This case is being handled as part of Honenu’s campaign to eradicate rock terror and bring the terrorists to trial. To assist residents of Yehuda and Shomron and motorists who drive through those regions, Honenu has publicized a video clip (see below) and a guide to reporting incidents which includes: filing a complaint, keeping track of progress in the investigation until the perpetrators are brought to trial, and verifying that they are penalized to the full extent of the law. Honenu has called on everyone who has experienced a rock throwing or Molotov cocktail attack to contact its headquarters so that the terrorists can be brought to trial. See here and here for cases of recent attacks being handled by Honenu.
Honenu’s campaign against rock terror