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 - March 2016

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 29 February 2016, there were 6,204 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 438 children. In the case of children there was an 8 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual increase of 94 per cent compared with 2015. These figures include 7 children held under administrative detention orders. A further 1,692 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 15 children. More statistics

Unlawful transfer of protected persons – The Fourth Geneva Convention (Art. 76) prohibits the transfer and detention of "protected persons" outside occupied territory. According to the Israeli Prison Service, in February 2016, 37 per cent of Palestinian children and 86 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities in Israel in violation of the Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Art. 8). It is estimated that this policy, which commenced in 1967, is currently affecting more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women and children each year. In December 2015, MCW wrote to a number diplomatic missions in the region regarding this issue: UK, France, US, Norway, Netherlands, Canada and Australia.
UK Government again confirms detention in Israel violates Geneva IV – In March the UK Government responded to a question regarding the detention of Palestinian prisoners in Israel: “We are clear that Israel has legal obligations as an Occupying Power with respect to the Occupied Palestinian Territories under [Geneva IV]. This includes […] Article 76, providing that protected persons convicted of offenses shall be detained and serve their sentences within the occupied territory. We regularly talk to the Government of Israel with regard to the implementation of those obligations and raise our serious concerns, including about the treatment of Palestinian children that are arrested and detained in Israeli prisons. We have been clear with Israel that forcible transfer would be a breach of international humanitarian law and would have serious ramifications on Israel’s international standing.” This issue has been raised by the UK Government since at least July 2012 without substantial progress.
The Guardian: Atrocities in conflict mean we need the Geneva conventions more than ever -  Don’t dismiss the law of war – it has never been better known by the public and the outrage expressed when it is breached has never been greater. hen world leaders meet in Turkey for the world humanitarian summit next month, a crucial issue on the agenda will be how to strengthen respect for the law of war. This is something the world desperately needs. Given the stream of images flashing across our smartphones or TV screens – of hospitals bombed, populations besieged or millions uprooted from their homes – it is not surprising that many people question whether the laws governing armed conflict work at all. Read more
UN complaint submission: children in military detention (2016) – On 1 March 2016, Military Court Watch (MCW) lodged a complaint submission under the UN Special Procedures mechanism relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention in 2015. MCW’s submission reviews the developments in the system and analyses the findings from 163 testimonies collected from children detained by the military during 2015. MCW concludes that UNICEF’s finding of “widespread, systematic and institutionalized” ill-treatment was still valid in 2015 and the policy of unlawfully transferring Palestinian minors from the West Bank to prisons inside Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court continued unabated. Read more
Comparative graph – issues of concern (update) – Recent evidence collected by MCW indicates that in addition to a jump in the number of minors being detained, there has also been an increase in the level of reported abuse and other issues of concern. The latest evidence indicates an increase in reports of the use of hand ties, blindfolds, physical abuse, threats and verbal abuse. In 2013 UNICEF reported 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” – a conclusion that still appears valid today based on the available evidence. Latest evidence
Testimony – On 8 March 2016, a 17-year-old youth from Beit Fajjar is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 2:00 a.m. He is released 9 days later. "I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and found an Israeli intelligence officer in my bedroom. The officer told me to get dressed quickly because I was under arrest. I wasn’t told why I was being arrested. Some soldiers then took me out of the house where my hands were tied in front of me with one plastic tie. The tie was not painful. I was also blindfolded and put in the back of a jeep where I sat on the metal floor. The jeep drove for about 15 minutes to the police station inside Etzion settlement. Read more
Testimonies                                    Comparative Graph (March 2016)                                      Films