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 - May 2019

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 April 2019 there were 5,152 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 205 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 5% decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 23% compared with 2018. These figures include 2 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 46% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention in April. More statistics 


Hand-ties and blindfolds: update – Israeli army regulations for restraining children require 3 loose ties to the front avoiding pain while UNICEF recommends a total prohibition against blindfolding children. According to the latest evidence collected by MCW, only 6% of children who are tied are done so in accordance with army regulations. Children continue to describe the plastic hand ties as “painful”, “very tight and painful”, which in some cases cut wrists and cause swelling. In disregard of UNICEF’s call for a prohibition, 91 percent of children continue to be blindfolded following their arrest.


Evidence update – Based on 101 testimonies collected from children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2018 – 52% of children report being arrested at night; 95% report being hand-tied, often painfully; 91% report being blindfolded – a practice UNICEF recommends should never occur; 60% report being transferred to interrogation centres on the metal floor of military vehicles; 69% report experiencing some form of physical abuse, such as slapping, kicking and punching; 67% report being threatened including threats made against other family members; and 74% report being denied access to a lawyer prior to questioning.


Army’s top lawyer says ICC has no jurisdiction - Haaretz newspaper recently reported that at a recent international conference on the military prosecution on the laws of war, the army’s chief prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek, stated that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to discuss matters concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because “Israel is a law-abiding country, with an independent and strong judicial system, and there is no reason for its actions to be scrutinized by the ICC.” While these comments were largely confined to the border demonstrations in Gaza, they appear to understate the potential for legal exposure. Read more


2ndchild detention bill introduced to Congress – In April, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a bill to Congress (H.R. 2407) - “Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”. The stated purpose of the bill is to “promote human rights for Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation and require that United States funds do not support military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.” The Bill asserts that the $3.8 billion provided annually by the US to Israel in military assistance “enables” the abuse of children, but does not present the evidence relied on to establish direct US funding of specific Israeli military units involved in such abuse, as required under US law.


A child’s testimony - On 23 April 2019, a 15-year-old minor from Beit Fajjar was arrested by soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports speaking to a lawyer prior to interrogation on the phone for less than a minute in the presence of an interrogator but not being informed of his right to silence. “My mother woke me up when Israeli soldiers raided our home at around 3:00 a.m. They banged at the door and my father answered. About 20 soldiers entered our house accompanied by 2 service dogs. More soldiers were waiting outside making the area look like a war zone.A soldier asked to see our identity cards and then they separated me from my family and took me outside. Read more


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