Jerusalem24 – The Association for Civil Rights called on the Israeli Civil Administration authority in the occupied West Bank at the beginning of this month, 2.2.2022, to return funds collected by the administration from Palestinians, amounting to about NIS 53 million.
These funds were collected as a guarantee for the release of detainees or as a deposit to prove attendance at the investigations; The Civil Administration had to return it to its payers by the law and binding judicial decisions in this regard.
The Association for Civil Rights made dozens of complaints to the police, the Civil Administration, the Military Prosecution, and the military courts, while each of these parties evaded their responsibilities and threw them on the other side, in complete chaos and neglect, for which the Palestinians paid the price.
In the wake of this trend, the Association for Civil Rights received the Civil Administration’s response that the failure to return the sums collected to these Palestinians was the result of an in-kind defect, and the administration did not return the sums to their owners until November 2021.
The association was not surprised to discover, while working on this issue, that the regulations in force do not care at all about arrangements for returning the amounts collected to their owners. The details of the payers to communicate with them when the amount is due, and all this payment system is not digitally documented; but rather remains within the limits of paper records.
The Association for Civil Rights in its approach to the civil administration in the occupied territories claimed that these systems and the way things are managed contradict the civil administration’s duties in civil law and international law.
The administration’s continued retention of the funds collected by it is a clear violation of the basic right of ownership and the right to a fair legal process, and the continuation of this system constitutes clear discrimination towards Palestinian society and exploitation of the fear of the Palestinians in general, and the liberated detainees in particular, from communicating with the occupation authorities.