Newsletter - February 2023
Detention figures – According to data issued quarterly by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 December 2022, there were 4,604 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 157 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was an 5 percent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 9 percent compared with 2021. Seven children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 71 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
Forcible transfer -
According to data released by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), 67 percent of Palestinian children detained by Israeli military forces in the occupied West Bank were transferred out of the territory and detained inside Israel in 2022. The transfer and detention of these children outside occupied territory is classified as a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention - a convention ratified by 196 states including Israel in 1951.
The practice is also prohibited under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Experience gained during World War II convinced a generation of leaders that the transfer of population groups, in or out of occupied territory, must be prohibited in all circumstances. Read more
A soldier's testimony: "You hate them at that moment" -
"The kids we arrested who had been throwing stones, whom we caught in an ambush, you hate them at that moment, but then you catch them and they look at you and they pee their pants and you see they’re your younger brother’s age, they’re kids. They suddenly cry and they beg and they’re scared. At that moment it doesn’t touch you as much because you’re running on adrenalin and inside the whole operation you run, you catch him, he sometimes tries to hurt you as well. But when you go to sleep at night, when you’re digesting it a little, when you think about the day that you had, you understand the story." Breaking the Silence
A child's testimony -
On 31 January 2023, a 14-year-old minor from Azzayyem was arrested by Israeli undercover soldiers outside a shop at 7:30 p.m. He reports ill treatment. He reports consulting with a lawyer prior to interrogation but not being informed of his right to silence. He reports being released on NIS 1,000 bail 9 days later. "
I went with two of my friends to the shops at around 7:30 p.m. My two friends went into a shop to buy things while I waited outside. All of a sudden six men in civilian clothes approached me and started to beat me on my back and stomach. They swore at me and called me "a son of a whore". When I saw they were carrying guns I realised they were Israeli special unit soldiers in disguise." Read more