Detention figures
End of March 2023:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 4,596
Children: 151
Total: 4,747

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 80%
Children: 70%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 1,007
Children: 10
Total: 1,017

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Newsletter - December 2020

Detention figures – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has recently changed its reporting methodology and currently provides quarterly average detention numbers instead of detailed monthly figures. This change is being challenged. Accordingly, the detention figures for the last quarter of 2020 are likely to be available in early 2021.  As of 30 September 2020, there were 4,184 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 157 children (12-17 years). Two children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 73% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and detained in Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. More statistics 


Evidence update: night arrests and summonses – Each year Israeli soldiers conduct about 3,200 search and arrest operations in Palestinian communities in the West Bank. Approximately 2,800 of these operations occur at night and in about 580 night-raids, a child is arrested. Israel justifies this practice on the basis that the territory is subject to military rule (temporarily since 1967) as permitted under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Somewhat inconsistently Israel does not enforce military law on Israeli civilians living in the same area in settlements built in violation of the Convention.  The level of fear, intimidation and trauma induced by these operations on the Palestinian civilian population should not be underestimated. Read more


When Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian houses at night (by Avner Gvaryahu) - "At night, while the household sleeps, my team gets ready outside. One person knocks on the door, and almost immediately after, another breaks in. We enter quickly, with force, weapons drawn. Some of us have painted our faces, others are not concealed. Someone gathers the family and locks them in a room. There is shouting. Broken Arabic and rapid Hebrew, and vice versa. “Quickly, quickly, your papers!” Items are moved, sometimes breaking. One of us photographs the rooms or sketches in a notebook. Hours pass, sometimes days. Then we leave, on our way to the next house. Indeed, since 1967, our soldiers are sent on a nightly basis to invade private homes." Read more


The “banal” trauma of Israel’s nightly raids on Palestinian children (by Lily Galili) - Despite cosmetic reforms to Israeli military law in the West Bank, Palestinian children are routinely abused. “A sudden noise pierced the silence of a dark night. The banging on the gate of the blue-painted house terrified not only the family sleeping behind it but the whole neighbourhood. The cries of babies alarmed by the shrill noise blended with the ear-splitting sound of fists banging on iron. This is not the banal opening of a fictional story. It is the day-to-day life of Palestinian families in hundreds of villages all over the occupied territories. Sometimes, they come with no particular reason. Too often, they leave with a blindfolded and handcuffed youngster.” Read more


Prosecutor releases Annual Report - In December 2020, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court ("ICC") published her annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities. The report details activities carried out by her Office during the year in relation to 10 situations under preliminary examination. In December 2019 the Prosecutor concluded her Preliminary Examination and stated that she was satisfied that war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Given the contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation the Prosecutor referred the question of jurisdiction to the Court. A timetable for submissions was agreed and the Court's determination on jurisdiction is anticipated.   


A child’s testimony – On 31 August 2020, a 15-year-old minor from Hebron was arrested by Israeli soldiers after being issued with a summons written in Hebrew during a night raid on his home. He reports consulting with a lawyer but not being informed of his right to silence. "Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 2:00 a.m. I woke up to the sound of loud banging at the front door. My father rushed and opened the door before the soldiers broke it. About 20 soldiers entered our home and the commander immediately wanted to know where my wardrobe was. The soldiers searched my wardrobe and took a pair of trousers, a shirt and boots. The commander made me put them on and then took a picture of me wearing them." Read more


A soldier’s video testimony: "We wrecked the house" - In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how his Unit took over a Palestinian home. On the first day the soldiers promised not to damage anything.  "On the first day everyone is as moral and decent as possible, besides some mud on our shoes, everything was OK." A few days later the Palestinian family walks in. "They take a look at their house. They're shocked, totally stunned. They see their house is a complete ruin. All their personal belongings shattered. We wrecked the house. I remember how ashamed I was at that moment. I realized how quickly we forgot the promise we made on the first day. Suddenly I realized that we were caught at our worst."


845 Testimonies                                       MCW Annual Report (2020)                                     Videos