Detention figures
End of April 2019:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 4,947
Children: 205
Total: 5,152

Percentage held in Israel:
Adults: 83%
Children: 46% 

Criminal Prisoners

Adults: 1,264
Children: 18
Total: 1,282

Grand total

Adults: 6,211
Children: 223
Total: 6,434

More statistics
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Newsletter - May 2017

Detention figures – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has not provided updated prison statistics in accordance with a Freedom of Information (FOI) application since August 2016. According to the IPS a new FOI officer was appointed in December 2016 and advised that the provision of monthly prisons statistics would resume within weeks. In February 2017 the IPS re-commenced supplying prison data but failed to disaggregate the information based on whether the detainee was Israeli or Palestinian. In May 2017 the IPS provided back-data for May/June 2016. The IPS is currently 9 months behind in the provision of prison statistics relating to Palestinians, including children, held in its facilities. More statistics


Legal safeguards and reforms failing to protect minors during interrogation: Military Appeals Court case analysis - In a recent decision handed down by the Military Appeals Court on 2 April 2017 (Military Prosecution v A. and another), Judge Lt. Colonel Ronen Atzmon identified numerous shortcomings in the manner in which two Palestinian minors were interrogated. The minors, both below the age of 15, were interrogated by Israeli police in Jerusalem on allegations of stone and pipe bomb throwing at Israeli soldiers in the West Bank in February 2017. The Court noted serious discrepancies between the regulations designed to protect the rights of accused minors and the practice on the ground. Read more
Military courts failing to adequately consider release on bail in the absence of lawyers - Following the decision on 17 April by approximately 1,200 Palestinian prisoners to commence a hunger strike in protest of Iraeli prison conditions, the majority of defence lawyers have been boycotting the military courts in solidarity since 3 May 2017. Accordingly, most defendants in the military courts, including children (12-17 years) now appear in court without a lawyer and have their cases adjourned while they are automatically held in custody on remand. The current default practice of the military courts of holding children in custody on remand due to a lack of legal representation fails to discharge the court's obligations. Read more
Briefing Note (May 2017) - This note considers recent developments in the military detention system including: the right to a lawyer; admissibility of evidence; and a Supreme Court petition seeking mandatory social welfare reports in bail applications. The note reviews the most recent evidence relating to: summonses and night arrests; restraints and blindfolds; notification of reasons for arrest; physical and verbal abuse; threats; access to lawyers; the right to silence; access to parents during interrogation; bail and conviction rates; solitary confinement; and administrative detention. Israeli Prison Service data indicating that 84 percent of detainees continue to be unlawfully transferred and detained outside the West Bank in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention is also reviewed. Read more
Comparative Graph - Issues of Concern (update) - Based on 112 cases documented in 2016 and 455 cases since 2013, this graph provides a comparative snapshot of trends relating to: summonses; prevalence of night arrests; use of restraints and blindfolds; physical abuse; verbal abuse; threats; transport of child detainees to interrogation centres on the floor of military vehicles; access to lawyers prior to interrogation; notification of the right to silence; access to parents throughout interrogation; strip searches; and the use of documentation written exclusively in Hebrew during the interrogation process. View Comparative Graph
One Battle at a Time - "Samia was not yet seven when the Six-Day war between Israel and three neighbouring countries erupted on 5 June 1967. All she can remember is the fear, mixed with excitement she felt when the sirens went off in Jerusalem where she lived with her parents and two siblings. She quickly learned the routine of stopping everything and calmly heading off to the shelter in the ground floor of the house she lived in. Stopping everything meant exactly that. It didn’t matter whether she was watching her favourite cartoon programme, or in the middle of a dream or even in the bathroom; she had to stop everything and find her way to the shelter, calmly and quietly." Read more
Jerusalem Quarterly: Brief aus Ofer - "Am Militärgericht von Ofer gibt es praktisch keinen Schutz vor der sengenden Julihitze. Wir warten geduldig, dass das Sicherheitstor aufklickt. Ein Maschendrahtzaun trennt uns von dem Gehege, in dem sich palästinensische Familien drängen. Sie müssen eine mehrstufige Prozedur von Passkontrollen und körperlichen Durchsuchungen durchlaufen, um Zutritt zu erhalten zu einer kurzen Gerichtsverhandlung gegen einen Angehörigen. Es ist noch früh, aber diese Familien sind bereits seit Stunden unterwegs. Die meisten finden sich müde und resigniert ab mit stundenlangem Warten an diesem heißen, gottverlassenen Ort." (German / English)
A child's testimony - On 26 February 2017, a 13-year-old boy from Husan was served with a summons by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. The summons requests that he attend an interrogation later that day at a police station located inside a settlement. "Israeli soldiers raided our house at around 2:30 a.m. and arrested my brother. They also gave my father a piece of paper summoning me to the police station in Kiryat Arba settlement later in the morning. My father took me to the police station at 9:00 a.m. that morning. My father spoke to a policeman who told him he had to take me to the police station in the settlement of Etzion and this is what we did. My father and I waited outside Etzion police station until around 1:00 p.m." Read more
A soldier's video testimony: "Standing outside in the snow" - In this video a former soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence about conducting a house search in Hebron during a winter snow storm. "The first time we were in Hebron, at one of the arrests ... Everything is just another arrest and another arrest. But I remember arriving at a very big house, probably belonging to a very big family ... At the time it was snowing in Hebron, it was very cold and we just got the entire family out of the house. Now, the entire family includes the elderly, children and babies an everyone there, while taking men 16 and older to the side and guarding them because they are considered a threat ... During this time the family stood in the snow." View video
Testimonies                               Comparative Graph - Issues of Concern                                     Films