Detention figures
End of June 2024:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 7.816
Children: 209
Total: 8,025

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 69%
Children: 50%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 3,302
Children: 75
Total: 3,377

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Newsletter - February 2014
Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 January 2014, there were 4,881 Palestinians held in Israeli detention facilities including 183 children. In the case of children this represents an increase of 19 percent compared with the previous month, but an annual decrease of 8 percent compared with 2013. In a positive development, for the fifth month in a row no children below the age of 14 were recorded as being held in IPS detention facilities. However, it should be noted that there are no official statistics publicly available that show the number of children below the age of 14 who were arrested and detained for less than one month and released before the monthly head-count. According to the IPS, 42 percent of Palestinian children and 89 percent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. More statistics
Testimony – A.Q. - On 8 January 2014, a 15-year-old boy from Azzun is arrested by Israeli soldiers at night and accused of throwing stones - “I was asleep when I woke up to the sound of banging at the front door. My father came to my bedroom and told me Israeli soldiers were outside. I got up immediately and went to the living room. About 15 soldiers entered the house and a larger number were outside. One of the soldiers asked for my name. When I told him he told me to go and put my shoes on. He also asked my father for my birth certificate and told him they were going to arrest me. They didn’t tell us why they were arresting me but the Commander gave my father a piece of paper with telephone numbers on it, including the number of an interrogator in Ariel settlement and told my father to call this interrogator if he wanted information about me. My father later told me that when he called the interrogator no one answered the telephone.” Read more
ABC Four Corners – Stone Cold Justice – On 10 February 2014, a joint investigation by Four Corners and The Australian newspaper aired on Australian national television. The investigation reveals evidence that shows the army is targeting Palestinian boys for arrest and detention. Reporter John Lyons travels to the West Bank to hear the story of children who claim they have been taken into custody, ruthlessly questioned and then allegedly forced to sign confessions before being taken to court for sentencing. See film
Child detention raised in Dutch Parliament – On 12 February 2014, the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Dutch Parliament held a wide ranging debate on relations with Israel and Palestine. During the debate the issue of the treatment of Palestinian children held in Israeli military detention was raised by Joel Voordewind (Christian Union), Pieter Omtzigt (CDA), Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66) and Michiel Servaes (PVDA) with a particular focus on treatment during the first 24 hours following arrest. Members of the Committee also queried how many of the 38 recommendations contained in the UNICEF report – Children in Israeli Military Detention – have been implemented since its publication in March 2013. The report’s main conclusion was that the ill-treatment of children in the system appears to be “widespread, systematic and institutionalized”. Read more
Israeli group challenges lack of accountability in Supreme Court - On 16 February 2014, the Public Committee against Torture in Israel (PCATI) issued a statement highlighting the failure by the relevant authorities to investigate credible allegations of torture allegedly committed during interrogations conducted by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA). PCATI is one of the parties to a petition filed in the Israeli Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice) seeking appropriate accountability in such cases. The statement issued by PCATI notes that since 2001, over 800 complaints have been lodged against ISA interrogators alleging ill-treatment and torture without a single criminal investigation being opened. This is in spite of the fact that in 15 percent of the cases the State admits the ill-treatment or torture occurred as alleged. Read more

Night arrests – Developments assessed - Whilst an end to the night arrest of children would be a highly positive development if it occurred, it is important to note that the main conclusion of the UNICEF report was that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.” Accordingly, if the military authorities genuinely seek a reduction in the level of abuse in the system, the end of night arrests must be part of a larger package of inter-dependent reforms that address the lack of effective protection during the first 24 hours following arrest. Read more

UK Parliamentary group and CAABU issue a statement on night arrests - On 25 February, the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group (BPAPPG) and the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) issued a joint press statement regarding the recent announcement that Israel will establish a pilot scheme to issue summonses to Palestinian children suspected of crimes, instead of using night time arrests. The cross party group of MPs and Peers call on the international community to support this pilot as part of a complete overhaul of the military detention system, that will ensure all child detainees are treated according to international law. Read more
Media – Haaretz – Israel rejects US-Palestinian proposal for anti-incitement panel - The Israeli government has refused a Palestinian-American initiative to convene a tripartite committee to address incitement and education toward peace both in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A senior Israeli source said that Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who was authorized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deal with the issue, made it clear to the Americans that a condition for participating in such a committee would be a Palestinian confidence-building measure, like deleting provocative content from official PA websites. Read more

Media – The Australian – Palestinian children pawns in an unjust system – Sitting in the heavily fortified headquarters of the Israeli army in Tel Aviv a few months ago, we were surrounded by some of the world's most advanced military technology. Yet it is not the equipment of the most powerful military in the Middle East that went off but my early warning bulldust detector. The subject of discussion was the Israeli military's treatment of Palestinian children. Read more
Media – The Sydney Morning Herald – Australian Foreign Minister 'deeply concerned’ by mistreatment of Palestinian children – Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says she is “deeply concerned” by reports Israeli armed forces are removing Palestinian children from their homes in night-time raids. Unlike the previous Labor government, Ms Bishop has refused to condemn Israeli settlements, and has not altered her position following the airing of the disturbing footage on ABC television on Monday night. Read more
Media – The Australian – Israel to end night arrest of kids - The Israeli army has announced a comprehensive review of its policy of dealing with Palestinian children, including an immediate pilot program to end night-time arrests. The review is to be detailed shortly to a committee of the Israeli parliament. It comes shortly after a joint investigation by The Australian and the ABC's Four Corners program into Israel's military justice system.  Read more
The 6 core recommendations – The overwhelming majority of complaints relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention occur during the first 24 hours following arrest. There are six core recommendations that, if effectively implemented, would provide additional protection:
  1. Children should only be arrested during daylight hours except in rare and exceptional circumstances. In all other cases summonses should be used;

  2. All children, and their legal guardian, should be provided with a written statement in Arabic informing them of their full legal rights in custody;

  3.  All children must consult with a lawyer of their choice prior to questioning;

  4. All children must be accompanied by a family member throughout their questioning;
  5. Every interrogation must be audio-visually recorded and a copy of the tape must be provided to the defence prior to the first hearing; and

  6. Breach of any of the above recommendations should result in the discontinuation of the prosecution and the child’s immediate release.