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 - November 2014


Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 October 2014, there were 5,447 Palestinians held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 163 children. In the case of children this represents decrease of 10 per cent compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 2 per cent compared with 2013. According to the IPS, 47 per cent of Palestinian children and 90 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. A further 1,816 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 25 children. Criminal offences include entering Israel without a permit, most frequently in pursuit of work. More statistics


A soldier’s video testimony: Pictures at 3 am – A former Israeli soldier provides a video testimony to Breaking the Silence in which he describes going into Palestinian homes in the middle of the night and photographing the residents, including children. The soldier confirms that there was no prior intelligence on the family and they were not searching for weapons. According to the soldier these exercises are designed to make Palestinian civilians in the West Bank feel that the Israeli military is omnipresent. The soldier taking the photographs assumed that they would be used for intelligence purposes but over one month after the exercise no one requested this information. Eventually the soldier deleted the photos realising that they were not required for any legitimate purpose. Video testimony


Undermining the rule of law - For some time now the Israeli Military Courts' Unit has distributed a five-page briefing paper to foreign delegations visiting the military courts in the West Bank. The briefing paper is intended to persuade the reader that the military courts used to prosecute approximately 755,000 Palestinian men, women and children since 1967, were established, and are currently operating, in accordance with international law. The briefing paper commences with the following statement: “The Military Courts in Judea and Samaria [sic] (hereinafter: 'The Military Courts’) were established in accordance with international law, and have jurisdiction to hear ordinary criminal cases and cases involving security offenses.” This statement is significant because the only provision of international law that authorises the prosecution of civilians in military courts is the Fourth Geneva Convention. Read more


G4S responds to MPs' questions - but is it satisfactory? - On 27 October 2014, members of the UK Parliament wrote to the CEO of G4S (the Company), Mr. Ashley Almanza, requesting full disclosure of the underlying documents used to prepare a summary of an independent review (Review) published on the Company’s web site. The Review dealt with, inter alia, the Company’s contract with the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and found that there were no moral or legal issues of concern arising out of this commercial relationship. Whilst acknowledging that the Company is under no legal obligation to publish the full Review, MPs noted that full disclosure would be consistent with the Company’s stated aim of “transparency and accessibility”. Read more


Testimony - On 21 September 2014, a 15-year-old boy from the Al Fawwar refugee camp, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. and accused of throwing stones and participating in a demonstration. “Israeli soldiers broke down our front door at 3:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of things breaking and saw soldiers in the house. One of the soldiers told my father they were going to arrest me. A week earlier, soldiers had come to our house and given my father a summons in my name to appear at Kiryat Arba police station, inside the settlement. I did not go because my cousin had died the same day. One of the soldiers, I think he was the commander, gave my father a document with details about my arrest. The commander claimed I was accused of throwing stones.” Read more


MCW Progress Report – Children in Military Custody – 2 Years On - In June 2012, a delegation of UK lawyers published the report – Children in Military Custody (UK Report). The Foreign Office funded report reviewed how children are treated in Israel’s military court system taking into account both the legal framework and practice. The report found breaches of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Fourth Geneva Convention and concluded by making 40 specific recommendations. Two years on, MCW has published a report that reviews progress made in implementing the UK Report’s recommendations and finds that just 5 per cent have been substantially implemented. Read more


The Law in These Parts - “Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values?” – This is the question asked in the critically acclaimed documentary by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz – The Law In These Parts – which is available to watch online.According to the film’s website: “Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli 'settlers’ to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.” See trailer


Stone Cold Justice – A joint investigation by Four Corners and The Australian newspaper aired on Australian national television. The investigation reveals evidence that shows the army is targeting Palestinian boys for arrest and detention. Reporter John Lyons travels to the West Bank to hear the story of children who claim they have been taken into custody, ruthlessly questioned and then allegedly forced to sign confessions before being taken to court for sentencing.The program focuses on the stories of three boys. In two cases the army came for the children in the middle of the night, before taking them to unknown locations where they are questioned. A mother of one of the boys described the scene. See film