Detention figures
End of June 2024:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 7.816
Children: 209
Total: 8,025

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 69%
Children: 50%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 3,302
Children: 75
Total: 3,377

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Newsletter - April 2014

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 March 2014, there were 4,999 Palestinians held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 202 children. In the case of children this represents a decrease of 4 percent compared with the previous month, and an annual decrease of 0.5 percent compared with 2013. For the seventh month in a row no children below the age of 14 were recorded as being held in IPS detention facilities. However, it should be noted that there are no official statistics publicly available that show the number of children below the age of 14 who were arrested and detained for less than one month and released before the monthly head-count. According to the IPS, 52 percent of Palestinian children and 90 percent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. A further 2,131 Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 34 children. Criminal offences include entering Israel without a permit, most frequently in pursuit of work. More statistics

Testimony – N.A. - On 19 March 2014, a 16-year-old boy from Deir Nidham, in the West Bank, is arrested by Israeli soldiers and accused of throwing stones. ““It was the half-term holiday and two of my friends and I went for a long walk around the village at around noon. We wanted to enjoy the spring weather and to take some pictures together. When we got to the main road by the natural spring in the valley a blue settler car went by. The settler sitting in the front passenger seat stuck his head out of the window and pointed a gun at us. We were terrified and in complete shock as we did nothing to provoke the settler. I have no idea what went on in his mind. We turned and started walking back to the village. When we got to the entrance to our village we were stopped by a group of Israeli soldiers.” Read more
Media – Haaretz – “Kerry: Israel risks turning into an 'apartheid state’” [28 April 2014]- If a two-state solution isn't agreed upon soon, Israel will risk becoming "an apartheid state," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday while speaking before a closed forum. Kerry used the term while speaking at the Trilateral Commission before senior officials from the United States, Europe, Russia and Japan, The Daily Beast reported. It is the first time a U.S. official of Kerry's importance has used the contentious term "apartheid" in the context of Israel, even if only as a warning for the future. Read more. In September 2013, MCW highlighted how dual legal systems are applied in the West Bank based on race or national identity in a submission to the UN – Two boys, two laws: the discriminatory application of law in the West Bank.
Media Associated Press – “In West Bank, Teen Offenders Face Different Fates” [20 April 2014] – “BEIT UMAR, West Bank — The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other. But there was a crucial difference that helped to shape each boy's fate: One was Israeli, and the other Palestinian. The tale of the two teens provides a stark example of the vast disparities of Israel's justice system in the West Bank, a contested area at the heart of the elusive search for a lasting peace.” Read more
National Union of Teachers (NUT) (UK) passes motion in support of Palestinian child detainees – On 20 April 2014, the NUT passed a motion at its annual conference stating that: “The Union will continue to call upon the UK Government to fulfil international obligations in relation to the treatment of Palestinian Child Prisoners.” These obligations include ensuring that UK citizens and corporate bodies do not aid and abet contraventions of the Geneva Conventions Act (UK) (1957). This obligation is particularly relevant in relation to the activities of the UK/Danish corporation G4S which is contracted to the Israeli Prison Service to provide goods and services to prisons located inside Israel where Palestinian children are being detained in violation of article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Under UK law, aiding and abetting a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment. Read more
Dutch multi-disciplinary experts publish report on children held in Israeli military detention – On 17 April 2014, a group of Dutch experts published the report – Palestinian Children and Military Detention. Based on its own observations and interviews, as well as the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in relation to Israel of 2013, the 2013 UNICEF report, and other publications and sources of information, the expert-group has reached the conclusion that the treatment of Palestinian children accused of committing crimes by the Israeli military authorities represents a serious, systemic and systematic violation and disregard of the rights of these children. This method of treatment has a significant negative impact on the lives of the affected children, their families and their commu- nities. Read more
Media – Haaretz – “High Court backs longer detention periods for Palestinians than for Israelis” [8 April 2014] – “The High Court of Justice ruled on Sunday that the state is within its rights to hold Palestinians detainees for up to 96 hours before bringing them before a judge, compared to just 24 hours for Israeli citizens, calling the discrimination in this regard 'reasonable and proportionate’. Before the petitions were filed, Palestinians in the West Bank could be held for eight days after they were arrested before being brought before a judge, compared to just 24 hours for Israeli citizens. After the filing, the Justice Ministry and the Shin Bet security service announced the reduction of the former period to 96 hours.” Read more
The UNICEF Report – MCW reviews progress one year on – In March 2013, UNICEF published the report – Children in Israeli Military Detention – which concluded that the ill-treatment of children in the system “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized”. UNICEF also made 38 recommendations which the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated said it would “work to implement through on-going cooperation with UNICEF”. After reviewing both legal and procedural changes, as well as analysing 60 testimonies, MCW concludes that one year on, 87 percent of UNICEF’s recommendations remain un-implemented and although there have been some noteworthy changes, it is not yet possible to reach an alternative conclusion to UNICEF that ill-treatment remains “widespread, systematic and institutionalized”. Read more
The 6 core recommendations – The overwhelming majority of complaints relating to the treatment of children held in Israeli military detention occur during the first 24 hours following arrest. There are six core recommendations that, if effectively implemented, would provide additional protection:
  1. Children should only be arrested during daylight hours except in rare and exceptional circumstances. In all other cases summonses should be used;

  2. All children, and their legal guardian, should be provided with a written statement in Arabic informing them of their full legal rights in custody;

  3. All children must consult with a lawyer of their choice prior to questioning;

  4. All children must be accompanied by a family member throughout their questioning;
  5. Every interrogation must be audio-visually recorded and a copy of the tape must be provided to the defence prior to the first hearing; and

  6. Breach of any of the above recommendations should result in the discontinuation of the prosecution and the child’s immediate release.