Newsletter - February 2022
Detention figures – According to data issued quarterly by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 December 2021, there were 4,271 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 145 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 6% decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 8% compared with 2020. Five children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 64% of child detainees were transferred to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Conventionand the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. More statistics
Evidence update: night arrests and summonses
- Each year Israeli soldiers conduct between 3,500 - 4,500 search and arrest operations in Palestinian communities in the West Bank. This averages out at 10-12 operations each day. In over 80 percent of these cases the operations occur at night and involve the arrest of between 250-500 children.
Israel justifies this practice on the basis that the territory is subject to military rule (temporarily since 1967) as permitted under the Fourth Geneva Convention, but applies a separate legal regime (civilian law) to its citizens living in the same territory. It is well documented and self-evident that sending heavily armed soldiers into civilian homes at night to arrest children instils fear and causes trauma. Read more
Anniversary of ICC decision -
This month marked the first anniversary since the International Criminal Court (ICC) determined
that it possesses territorial jurisdiction over the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Territories). Following the Court's decision the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC announced
the opening of a formal investigation into possible war crimes in the Palestinian Territories committed by both sides since June 2014. Immediately following the ICC's ruling Israeli media
reported that "senior security officials said a number of ICC member states have agreed to give advance warning to Israel of any intent to arrest Israelis on their arrival." Read more
A child's testimony -
On 5 September 2021, a 16-year-old minor from Sa'ir was arrested by Israeli soldiers from home at 2:00 a.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his legal rights under Israeli military law.
" Israeli soldiers came to my uncle’s house at around 2:00 a.m. and asked him to show them the way to our house. My uncle knocked at our door and my father answered. About 12 soldiers entered our home. The commander asked to see our identity cards and then told my father to bring all his children to the middle room. Then the commander told my father he wanted to arrest me but did not say why. He gave my father a document filled out in Hebrew. The soldiers remained in our home for about 15 minutes." Read more