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 - April 2021

Detention figures – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) stopped providing child detention figures in accordance with a Freedom of Information application in September 2020. The State of Israel no longer publicly discloses: how many Palestinian children it holds in military detention; the age of the children; or the location of detention. The IPS does disclose the total number of Palestinians (adults and children) held in military detention (4,323) and from this figure it is possible to provide a best estimate of children in detention based on historical percentages. It is currently estimated that 169 children (12-17 years) are held in military detention of which 64% are likely to be transferred and/or unlawfully detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.[1] More statistics


A letter from Ofer military court - "There is nowhere to shelter from the elements as we wait patiently for the security gate to open at Ofer military court near Jerusalem. Separating us from an adjacent enclosure is a chain wire fence beyond which are jammed Palestinian families waiting to be processed through a series of security checks so they can attend a brief court appearance of a loved one. It is still early but the journey for these families is already hours old and most look tired and resigned to waiting many hours more in this grim place. After a short wait, our group passes through security. Before leaving this area, an official in uniform hands us a seven-page document prepared by the Military Courts Unit explaining the legality of the facility. We continue on our way, winding along a wire-enclosed passageway." Read more


Biden Administration lifts Trump sanctions on ICC officials - The move comes nearly one month after ICC prosecutor announced the decision to open a formal investigation into war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, which will examine both sides in the conflict. "We continue to disagree strongly with the ICC's actions relating to the Afghanistan and Palestinian situations," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Friday. "We maintain our longstanding objection to the court's efforts to assert jurisdiction over personnel of non-States Parties such as the United States and Israel. We believe, however, that our concerns about these cases would be better addressed through engagement with all stakeholders in the ICC process rather than through the imposition of sanctions." Haaretz


Israel tells ICC it has no jurisdiction to probe alleged war crimes - On March 3, the ICC prosecutor announced it would investigate Israel and Hamas for possible war crimes committed in the territories since June 2014. Formal notices were sent out March 9, giving Israel and the Palestinian Authority until April 9 to apply for a deferral by proving they are carrying out their own investigations into the alleged offenses. According to a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, Israel has decided to adopt the recommendations of the inter-ministerial team headed by the National Security Council not to cooperate with the ICC. "Israel vehemently rejects the claim that is committing war crimes and stresses its unequivocal stance that the ICC has no jurisdiction to open a probe against it. Haaretz


A child's testimony - On 29 November 2020, a 16-year-old minor from Al Arrub was detained by Israeli soldiers on his way home from school. He reports being interrogated several times but only being informed of his legal rights on the first occasion. "I left school early because of an event and went to buy a falafel sandwich on my way home. It was around 10:00 a.m. Suddenly three Israeli military jeeps drove towards the falafel shop where I was waiting in line and the soldiers started to chase everyone. A soldier grabbed me and slapped me hard on my face. He also verbally abused me. Then he tied my hands to the front with one plastic tie and tightened it hard. I was in pain and the tie left marks on my wrists for days. Then he blindfolded me and walked me to the gate by the entrance to the camp. Read more


A soldier’s testimony - "My feelings at the end of Operation Protective Edge" - In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a video testimony to Breaking the Silence following Israel's last major operation in Gaza in 2014. "My feeling after Operation Protective Edge wasn't so good. I had also lost a friend there and some friends were wounded. But I mostly felt bad morally speaking ... we shot at houses without knowing if anyone's there. We shot at cars - at ambulances - doing things I was raised not to do - not to kill the innocent, not to shoot at an ambulance. It's like the Wild West out there, and it was all approved by the commanders. I felt there was something morally rotten in this army if we were authorized to do this, because our first rule is not to kill without reason." Video


865 Testimonies                                       MCW Annual Report (2020)                                     Videos

[1] Due to the non-compliance by the IPS with a Freedom of Information application no disaggregated child detention data has been supplied since September 2020. The child detention figures since September 2020 are calculated by taking the current monthly detention figures (a total figure that does not differentiate between adults and children) and applying the official historic child detention percentage rate based on the total prison population since January 2019 (3.9%). The forcible transfer figures are calculated by taking an average of the monthly transfer figures provided by the IPS over the same period (64%).