Israeli military prosecutor: Night raids may be dropped

Feb. 19, 2014 at 7:18 PM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Israel's chief military prosecutor on the West Bank says the army plans to give Palestinian suspects summonses instead of arresting them in night raids.

In an exclusive interview with the Jerusalem Post, Maurice Hirsch said the raids, especially when the targets are minors, have become a focus of criticism.

He said plans for a pilot program will be unveiled soon to a parliamentary committee.

In the interview, Hirsch also tried to rebut charges the military is unduly harsh with young Palestinian suspects. He said about 1,000 minors were arrested in 2013 and only 30 filed complaints alleging abuse.

Hirsch said the military turned to night raids because daytime arrests tended to lead to large protests and even gunfire, endangering both Israeli security forces and Palestinians.

He said that there is little downside to the pilot program. If it works, he said, the military will be able to use a procedure that is less likely to result in violence and possible charges of abuse and if it fails, Israel will have demonstrated the raids are necessary.

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