B’Tselem Position Paper – Promoting Accountability: The Turkel Commission Report on Israel’s Addressing Alleged Violations of International Humanitarian Law

In this commentary the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reviews the recommendations made by the Turkel Commission following its inquiry into Israel’s mechanisms for investigating alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law obligations in the occupied Palestinian territories. The authors point to inadequacies in the recommendations while also explaining the potential positive consequences of implementing the recommendations as they are. Nevertheless, B’Tselem considers that the main problem with the commission’s recommendations is that they are aimed at improving the existing system, instead of proposing fundamental changes to the military’s methods of investigating alleged violations of IHL. The commission – say the authors – ignored the fact that the military, and the military alone, is the body investigating such suspicions, thereby rendering the autonomy of the investigative proceedings questionable.