Detention figures
End of June 2024:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 7.816
Children: 209
Total: 8,025

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 69%
Children: 50%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 3,302
Children: 75
Total: 3,377

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Newsletter - June 2013
Ofer Military Court - photo by Sylvie Le ClezioDetention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 May, there were 4,817 Palestinians held in Israeli detention facilities including 223 children. In the case of children, this represents a 5.5 percent decrease compared with the preceding month, but an annual monthly average increase of 17.3 percent compared with 2012. In the case of children, 57 percent were detained in facilities inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits transfer out of the West Bank. In the case of adults, 88 percent were detained inside Israel. More

Testimony from a 14-year-old boy – M.H. was arrested at 8:30 a.m. on 15 May, as he left home to visit an optometrist in Hebron. M.H. reports that he was beaten, verbally abused, tied and hooded before being held in solitary confinement in a prison inside Israel. “As I walked to catch a bus I saw lots of Israeli soldiers and stones on the ground. At the time I didn’t think much of it as soldiers are always in our village, which is situated near the settlement of Kiryat Arba. Three girls walked by the soldiers and were not bothered. When I was about three metres from the soldiers one of them shouted at me. I was so scared I started to run. I couldn’t help it." More

G4S vows to continue links with Israeli prisons – On 6 June, the multinational security company G4S held its annual meeting of shareholders during which the company’s links with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) were discussed. The company’s chief executive officer, Ashley Almanza, stated that G4S will be pulling out of providing services to Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank by 2015 but will “continue to run prisons inside Israel” stating that he believed these contracts were not illegal. Under Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention it is a criminal offence to transfer or detain persons from the West Bank inside Israel. According to the latest figures provided by the IPS in May, 57% of Palestinian child prisoners and 88% of Palestinian adult prisoners detained under Israeli military law were transferred to Israel. The illegality of these transfers was confirmed by the UK Foreign Office in 2012. More

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child – Concluding Observations – On 20 June, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child published its Concluding Observations following a review of Israel’s second, third and fourth periodic reports under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Committee reviewed, inter alia, Israel’s treatment of children held in military detention. The Committee expressed deep concern and noted in particular that:
  1. There exists two separate legal systems in the West Bank – a civilian legal system for Israeli settler children and a military legal system for Palestinian children - this leads to inequality between Israeli and Palestinian children in the enjoyment of their rights;
  2. Palestinian children continue to be detained in the middle of the night;
  3. Palestinian children continue to be hand-tied and blindfolded and taken to unknown destinations;
  4. Palestinian children continue to be systematically subjected to physical and verbal violence, humiliation, painful restraints, hooding of the head and face in a sack, threatened with death, physical violence, and sexual assault against themselves or members of their family,  and given restricted access to toilet, food and water;
  5. Palestinian children continue to be denied access to a lawyer and parents during the initial stages of their detention;
  6. Palestinian children continue to be coerced into confessing, and in some cases, the confessions are written in Hebrew;
  7. Palestinian children continue to be held in solitary confinement;
  8. The Israeli Military Orders applied to Palestinian children have not been translated into Arabic, as is required under the Fourth Geneva Convention;
  9. The same sentencing provisions that apply to adults are applied to Palestinian children aged 16 and 17 years; and
  10. Palestinian children from the West Bank continue to be transferred and detained in prisons inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. More

FCO funded report – Children in Military Custody: one year on – On 26 June 2012, a delegation of senior lawyers from the UK published a report reviewing the law and practice applicable to children prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. The Foreign Office funded report – Children in Military Custody – found undisputed evidence that the system violated at least six Articles under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and two Articles under the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the illegal transfer of prisoners from the West Bank to Israel. At the time of publication it was widely reported that the Foreign Office would be “challenging the Israelis over their treatment of Palestinian children”. One year on, only one out of the 40 recommendations made in the report has been partially implemented. More

News – Political – On 18 June the lack of progress in implementing the recommendations contained in the FCO funded report – Children in Military Custody– was described as “lamentable” in the British parliament. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, responded that he will continue to raise the issue with Israel’s Attorney General. On 20 June, the Concluding Observations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and specifically, the mistreatment of children held in Israeli military detention, was raised during the US State Department’s daily briefing. Finally, on 21 June, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, raised the issue of the mistreatment of children in Israeli military detention with Israel’s Minister of Justice, Tzipi Livni. More

News – Media– The issue of children held in Israeli military detention has recently been reported in a number of media outlets, including: The Guardian, Reuters and The Times of Israel. More


Photo: Ofer Military Court by Sylvie Le Clezio