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2017 | B'Tselem; Getting off Scot-free

Executive summary
From September 2000– when the second intifada broke out – through February 2017, Israeli security forces killed 4,868 Palestinians who were not taking part in hostilities. About a third of them (1,793) were under the age of 18. Thousands of others were wounded, thousands of homes were demolished, and vast tracts of farmland devastated. Faced with this reality, Israel guaranteed itself a nearly blanket exemption from the obligation to pay compensation for all this harm. The state does not offer Palestinians harmed by its security forces a genuine opportunity to le for damages in Israeli courts, offering them no more than the illusion of being able to do so. By broadening the legal definition of what constitutes “warfare activity” and inclusive construal of this term by the courts, on the one hand, and introducing a series of procedural and evidentiary restrictions in legislation and case law, on the other, Israel has rendered virtually non-existent the chances of Palestinian plaintiffs getting compensation for the harm they suffered.

This report can be read as a follow up to the articles by Yesh Din and B'Tseem about accountability and access to justice for Palestinians, from 2012 on - also available in this section. See also the 2012 Civil Wrongs (Liability of the State) Law , in our section on Legal Instruments for the Occupied Territories, to understand how Israel has expanded the definition of combat zones and combat-related activity over the last decade