Newsletter - December 2022
Detention figures – According to data issued quarterly by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 September 2022, there were 4,529 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 129 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was an 4 percent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 12 percent compared with 2021. Seven children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 68 percent of child detainees were transferred to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. More statistics
International Court of Justice (ICJ) to consider legality of occupation -
In December 2022, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of submitting a request for an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the legality of Israel's 55-year occupation of Palestinian territory. At a time of war in Europe, it is of concern that 26 countries, including: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, UK and the US voted against legal accountability for annexation of territory and the forcible transfer of civilians, including children, from occupied territory. With an extreme right-wing government in power in Israel and no political initiatives to resolve the conflict - blocking legal accountability is creating a dangerous vacuum while eroding confidence in a genuine rules-based order. Read more
Israel's new culture minister set to cut funds for film on Palestinian child detentions -
Israel's new culture minister Miki Zohar ordered his ministry on Tuesday to look into slashing funding for the film "Two Kids a Day
," which deals with detention of Palestinian minors in the West Bank, on the grounds that it "tarnishes" Israel's image. Zohar agreed with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to "deny funding to films of this nature, even retroactively, in accordance with the law." The film contains extensive interviews with Palestinian child detainees, Israeli interrogators and a former Israeli military prosecutor and settler. It is not clear from Zohar's announcement which of these groups Israel's new government fears is "tarnishing" Israel's image. Haaretz
A mother's testimony -
On 27 July 2022, Israeli soldiers entered a home in Beit Fajjar at 2:00 a.m. and arrested a 12-year-old boy. Beir Fajjar is located in close proximity to the Israeli settlement block of Gush Etzion and a road used by settlers. "
About five months ago I received a phone call from an Israeli policeman who told me my husband had to bring our 12-year-old son, Yousef, to the police station inside the settlement of Beitar Illit for questioning. He did not give details but said my husband had to bring our son to the police station immediately.
My husband and son did as instructed and were at the gate to the settlement by 10:00 a.m. They waited for hours before being told to come back the next day." Read more
A child's testimony -
On 12 October 2022, a 14-year-old minor from Beit Sira was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 3:30 a.m. He reports briefly consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. "I was arrested from home at around 3:30 a.m. I was asleep when I heard loud banging at our front door. By the time I got out of bed many Israeli soldiers were already inside our home. I heard one of the soldiers call my name. He told my parents they wanted to arrest me and question me about stone throwing. The soldier gave my parents a document filled out in Hebrew and asked my father to sign it. They did not give us a copy of this document. The soldiers took away all our phones." Read more
1,011 Testimonies Two Kids a Day (Trailer) MCW Annual Report (2022)