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Arrested Policing: Damage to the Criminal Justice Infrastructure in the Gaza Strip during Operation "Pillar of Cloud"

31 January, 2013


Between 14 and 21 November 2012, an armed conflict took place between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip, notably the military wings of the Palestinian factions Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) and Islamic Jihad. More than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed in this conflict; at least 971 Palestinians and 239 Israelis were injured. This is in addition to infrastructure damage and material losses on both sides.

Infrastructure pertaining to the criminal justice system of the Palestinian National Authority in the Gaza Strip was particularly hard hit. The criminal justice system encompasses law enforcement agencies, prosecution bodies, courts and prisons, as well as governmental bodies (such as relevant ministries) setting policies to combat crime and uphold the rule of law.

This report aims to document the damage afflicted on the criminal justice infrastructure in the Gaza Strip during the eight days of the armed conflict. DCAF hopes this report will contribute to a better international understanding of the challenges that the Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip face in delivering security to their population. What type of security the Gaza Strip and the region need, and at what costs, are questions that deserve a wider discussion.