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 - December 2016

Detention figures – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) reports that the vacant Freedom of Information (FOI) officer's position has now been filled. This officer is responsible for compiling and publishing prison statistics on a monthly basis. The position remained vacant throughout much of 2016 resulting in incomplete and delayed data. According to the most recent IPS data, as of 30 August 2016, there were 5,988 Palestinians held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities, including 319 children. In the case of children there was a 7% decrease compared with the previous month but an annual increase of 82% compared with 2015. These figures include 10 children held without charge or trial in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 50% of child prisoners and 85% of adults continue to be transferred and detained inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. A further 1,808 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 31 children. More statistics


UN Security Council resolution 2334 - On 23 December the UN Security Council reaffirmed that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders. The legal basis underpinning resolution 2334 is the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) (the Convention) which prohibits, inter alia, the transfer of civilians into occupied territory (Article 49) thereby making settlement construction illegal. This is the 47th resolution relating to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict adopted by the Security Council since June 1967 and the most comprehensive since the 1980s. Read more

Briefing Note (December 2016) - Based on the most recent available data there was an 82 percent increase in children held in military detention in 2016. Since an upsurge in unrest in October 2015, children convicted of stone throwing can now expect to spend approximately twice as long in prison with an average custodial sentence of six months in cases where no injury or damage is sustained. The percentage of Palestinian children unlawfully transferred out of the West Bank to prisons located inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention declined from 48 percent in 2015 to 44 percent in 2016. The overall percentage of Palestinian detainees (adults and children) unlawfully transferred in 2016 was 84 percent, down from 87 percent in 2015. Reports of ill-treatment and denial of legal rights continue to be widespread. Read more
A soldier's video testimony: "To give him a heavy blow" - In this video a former soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence about the treatment of detainees in the back of a military vehicle following an arrest. "I remember our first arrest together. It was in Ramallah. After bringing the detainee to the vehicle, he sat there, handcuffed and blindfolded, he sat on the floor and we all sat in seats. I don't remember how it started but soldiers in my company started to hit him on the head. They hit him hard, it wasn't a light tap, they really hit him ... intending to hurt him ... I remember sitting there in pure shock ... I remember yelling at the soldiers to stop doing it, and ... they didn't stop, of course ... It happened in front of the commanders." Read more
A child's testimony - On 27 November 2016, a 16-year-old youth from Nahhalin was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 5:00 a.m. and accused of starting a fire by a nearby settlement. He was released without charge 15 hours later. "I woke up to the sound of Israeli soldiers banging at our front door at around 5:00 a.m. When my father opened the door the commander told him they had come to arrest me. The soldiers gave my father a document and told him they were going to take me to Etzion for questioning but they didn’t say why. After I got dressed the soldiers took me outside where they tied my hands to the back with one plastic tie which was very tight. They also blindfolded me. I was taken to the back of a jeep where I sat on the floor." Read more
Rising nationalism leaves international criminal court at risk - Six months after the international criminal court’s new Dutch palace of justice was formally opened on windswept sand dunes beside the North Sea, a tide of nationalist sentiment is threatening to undermine the project. Three African states have begun withdrawing from its jurisdiction, raising fears that a succession of others will follow suit. Russia has removed its signature from the founding statute, the Philippines and Kenya are openly contemplating departure and key member nations – including the UK – have limited its funding. The tribunal embodies international efforts to prosecute those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but in 2017 it will face serious challenges to its credibility, insiders say. Read more
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