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 - January 2021

Detention figures – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) stopped providing detailed monthly detention figures in accordance with a long-standing Freedom of Information application in October 2020. In its place the IPS published less detailed quarterly figures.  This data no longer includes information on detention location. According to the IPS, in September 2020, there were 4,184 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” including 157 children (12-17 years). Two children were held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 73% of these children were transferred and detained in Israel in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. More statistics 


Evidence update: access to lawyers - Under Israeli military law a detainee has the right to consult with a lawyer before interrogation. There are exceptions but generally these do not apply to children. A detainee must also be informed of this right before questioning. In 2006, Israel's Supreme Court confirmed that the right to promptly consult with a lawyer is fundamental. Regardless, for years the military authorities systematically denied children access to lawyers until after the interrogation was concluded, and in many cases, coerced confessions were obtained. Since 2013, MCW has documented a rise in the number of children having phone access to a lawyer prior to interrogation, although there was a reversal of trend in 2020. Read more


High Court strikes down public security Minister's order to withhold vaccines from prisoners - Three Supreme Court justices harshly reprimanded Public Security Minister Amir Ohana following an instruction he gave the Prison Service to refrain from vaccinating prisoners. “The respondent (Ohana) was not lawfully authorized to deny or delay medical treatment and his instruction was given in contravention of the law," wrote one judge. "The fact that the respondent is an elected official does not give him the authority to act as he pleases. It’s unfortunate to have to say something so obvious.” On the eve of the hearing, the Prison Service started vaccinating prisoners belatedly. Within three days, 75 percent of all prisoners were vaccinated. Haaretz


A child's testimony - On 29 October 2020, a 16-year-old minor from Doha was arrested by Israeli soldiers near a military base in Beit Jala at 10:30 p.m. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his right to consult with a lawyer or his right to silence. "I was with my cousin and a friend on the street near the military base in Beit Jala at around 10:30 p.m. All of a sudden, a group of Israeli soldiers approached us and wanted to know what we were doing in the area. Then a soldier slapped me on the face and dragged me into the base where he forced me to the ground face down. He also beat me in the back with his gun and swore at me. I was then handcuffed." Read more


A soldier’s testimony - "We just arrived, greeted them and entered" - In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how they would take over a Palestinian family's home for a week. "As part of the commanders' course I was in, we went to Hebron on operational activity. You join a brigade that is already involved there and you carry out missions. Our mission to take over some house and from there create a temporary post. The aim was to take over the house and demonstrate your control. In the middle of the night we took over the top floor, we removed the family that lived there. The family lived on two floors, so we sent them to the bottom floor and took the top floor. Watch video


849 Testimonies                                         MCW Annual Report (2020)                                       Videos