Newsletter - August 2021
Detention figures – According to data issued quarterly by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 June 2021, there were 4,756 Palestinians held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 170 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 6% increase compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 11% compared with 2020. Between 1-4 children were held in administrative detention. 69% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in June in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. More statistics
MCW Annual Report -
The report considers recent developments relating to the detention of children by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2020/21. The report reviews 102 testimonies from children detained in 2020 and considers longer-term trends based on 896 testimonies. Some key points include: 17% reduction in monthly average number of children detained; deterioration in 12 out of 13 issues (92%) tracked in MCW's comparative graph including: hand-ties, blindfolds, physical violence and access to lawyers; a spike in the use of solitary confinement during the interrogation process; and evidence of obstruction of justice at the International Criminal Court by some member states. Read more
65% of Palestinian child detainees continue to be forcibly transferred -
According to the IPS, 65% of Palestinian child detainees were forcibly transferred from the West Bank and unlawfully detained in Israel in 2020. The forcible transfer of protected persons, including detainees, is prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The US, EU, UK, Canada and Australia have imposed targeted sanctions on Russia for similarly transferring Ukrainian prisoners from Crimea
to prisons located in the Russian Federation. Whilst this contrasting approach is understandable based on interests, it comes at the cost of eroding faith in, and credibility of, an objective rules-based order. Report
Israeli Minister orders Prison Service regulations to be translated into Arabic -
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev has instructed the Prison Service to translate all of its regulations into Arabic. Until now the service had refused to do so, in part on the grounds that the nation-state law allowed this. Bar-Lev’s decision came in the wake of a High Court of Justice petition filed by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which noted that 60 percent of the inmates in Israel are Israeli Arabs or Palestinians. The association argued that failure to translate the regulations discriminated against the Arabs, and “barred them from access to the rules and from being able to defend themselves.” - Haaretz
A child's testimony -
On 24 March 2021, a 17-year-old minor from Jenin was arrested by Israeli soldiers at the Wall as he was entering Israel to go to work. He reports being interrogated without first being informed of his legal rights and spending 17 days in solitary confinement.
"I was crossing over into Israel from the West Bank through the Wall to go to work. It was around 4:00 a.m. Suddenly a military jeep approached and around eight soldiers go out. Shortly afterwards more military jeeps arrived. The soldiers wanted to know what I was doing in the area and who else was with me.
One of the soldiers searched me and then handcuffed me behind my back with metal handcuffs." 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 in which he describes taking over a Palestinian home for a week in order to "demonstrate presence". "As part of the commander's course I was in, we went to Hebron. You join a brigade and you carry out missions. Our mission was to take over some house ... I didn't even think about it. It only came up later ... of whether they should be compensated for being taken out of their home with no real reason for a week ... in a situation of occupation where the civilian population is not perceived as regular people, it is very easy to consider them as something inferior, and you simply dehumanize them." Video