Detention figures
End of December 2023:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 8,171
Children: 137
Total: 8,308

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 74%
Children: 49%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 3,239
Children: 49
Total: 3,288

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Newsletter - October 2016

Detention update: The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has not provided updated detention figures in accordance with a Freedom of Information (FOI) application since April 2016. According to the IPS the delay is due to staffing issues and the continued absence of a dedicated FOI officer. A fresh FOI application has been issued which is supposed to be answered by the beginning of November 2016.

Detention figures – According to the IPS, as of 30 April 2016, there were 6,295 Palestinians held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities, including 414 children. In the case of children there was a 5 per cent decrease compared with the previous month but an annual increase of 93 per cent compared with 2015. These figures include 13 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 88 per cent of detainees continue to be held in Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. A further 1,586 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 14 children. More statistics
Notification upon arrest: update - Since 1967 a re-occurring criticism of the Israeli military's conduct in the West Bank has focused on the manner in which children are being arrested in pre-planned raids on their homes. A typical raid would commence at 2 A.M. with banging at the front door accompanied by shouts of "open up". The front door would be blown open with an explosive device if the order was not complied with promptly. At gunpoint family members would be gathered together while their ID cards were crosschecked against a pre-prepared list. Once identified the suspect was taken away without proper notification. Read more
Briefing Note (October 2016) - Recent developments relating to the treatment of minors in military detention are considered and includes updates on: the pilot programme to limit night arrests; use of hand-ties and blindfolds; administrative detention; and the unlawful transfer and detention outside occupied territory. The Briefing Note also includes an updated Comparative Graph - Issues of Concern, which reviews the findings following an analysis of 71 testimonies collected from minors detained in 2016. The evidence indicates that 87% of minors are not informed of their right to silence and 90% are denied prompt access to lawyers.  Read more
Is this the beginning of the end for the ICC? - In October, Gambia followed Burundi and South Africa in announcing its intention to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The announcement follows continued criticism that during the past 18 years the ICC has disproportionally prosecuted Africans. There is some evidence to support this view - of the 10 cases being investigated by the court, nine involve African countries and ICC arrest warrants have only ever been issued for Africans. It is anticipated that Chad, Kenya and Namibia may also soon announce their withdrawal. Palestine joined the ICC in January 2015 and the Prosecutor is currently undertaking a preliminary examination. Read more
A soldier's video testimony: "Mock arrest" - In this video a former soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how Israeli military units in the West Bank sometimes conduct fake arrests in order to "create some action" when conditions are quiet. The "arrest" operation would be conducted exactly like a genuine arrest except a house would be targeted at random. The targeted house would be surrounded at night and the family would be ordered out of the house over a public address system. The unit would deploy stun grenades and conduct themselves as they would during a genuine arrest operation. Video testimony
A child's testimony - On 2 March 2016, a 17-year-old youth from Ya'abad was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 a.m. and accused of incitement on Facebook. He is given a 3-month Administrative Detention order and sentenced to 7 months in prison. "I was asleep when I suddenly woke up and found Israeli soldiers inside my bedroom standing over me. It was around 5:00 a.m. The soldiers had opened our front door and entered the house while we were asleep without making noise. The soldiers turned the light on and asked me for my name. Then they told me to bring my identity card and follow them to the living room." Read more
UK parliamentary question - Joanna Cherry QC MP (SNP) asked: "Last week on a cross-party visit to the West Bank I was deeply concerned by the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Government of Israel. Can the Foreign Secretary tell me when the follow-up legal report into the Israeli treatment of Palestinian child detainees will be published and outline the reasons for the delay?" The Under Secretary of State, Tobias Ellwood responded:  "I raised this issue with the Deputy Foreign Minister during my last visit. We have tried to get further access and further conditions put in place to make sure those child detainees are provided with the support they deserve. Read more
Testimonies                                    Comparative Graph - Issues of Concern                              Films