Detention figures
End of June 2023:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 4,678
Children: 161
Total: 4,839

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 80%
Children: 72%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 1,113
Children: 18
Total: 1,131

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Newsletter - August 2020

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 June 2020 there were 4,279 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 151 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 6% increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 13% compared with 2019. Two children are currently held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 81% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in June in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. *Note: The IPS has not released updated prison statistics since June 2020. More statistics 


Evidence update – Based on evidence collected from children detained in 2020, there has been a deterioration in nine out of 13 issues monitored by MCW compared with 2019. Issues that have deteriorated include: a decrease in summonses; an increase in the use of blindfolds; an increase in the number of children transported on the floor of military vehicles; an increase in physical violence; a decrease in the number of children informed of the right to silence; a decrease in children granted prompt access to a lawyer; a decrease in children accompanied by a parent during interrogation; an increase in documentation written in Hebrew; and more strip searches.  


800 testimonies and counting – MCW has collected over 800 testimonies from children detained by Israeli forces in the West Bank and prosecuted in military courts. While the military authorities rely on the Fourth Geneva Convention as the jurisdictional basis for these courts, over half of the children were forcibly transferred and unlawfully detained in prisons outside the West Bank inside Israel in violation of the Convention. This transfer is classified as a war crime under the Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This body of evidence also supports UNICEF’s 2013 conclusion that “the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”


A child’s testimony – On 6 August 2020, a 17-year-old minor from Nablus was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 4:30 p.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence before his first interrogation but not consulting with a lawyer. “A soldier tied my hands behind my back with one plastic tie. The tie was so tight that it cut through my wrists and I bled. I still have marks on my wrists. Then he forced me to the ground. To begin with I sat cross-legged but the soldier said something in Hebrew, which I did not understand, and forced me to straighten my legs and struck me with the back of his gun. I was left on the side of the road in the hot sun for about two hours.” Read more


A soldier’s video testimony: “Neighbors didn’t refuse” – In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how civilians, including children, would be used as human shields during arrest operations. “The thing is that you don’t go into the house. In order to avoid risking the forces and therefore you us a human shield … we didn’t know who it would be … we knocked on the door and whoever came out, if it was a man, we used him and if it was a woman, we asked for a man. Sometimes it was a teenager, if it was a kid, we’d call an adult, but it could also be … we weren’t strict about age, we didn’t check if he was over 18 or 16.” Video


800 Testimonies                                       MCW Annual Report (2020)                                    Videos