Detention figures
End of June 2023:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 4,678
Children: 161
Total: 4,839

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 80%
Children: 72%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 1,113
Children: 18
Total: 1,131

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Newsletter - December 2019

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 December 2019 there were 4,544 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in detention facilities including 186 children (12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 2% increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 27% compared with 2018. Four children are currently held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 56% of child detainees were forcibly transferred and/or unlawfully detained in Israel in December in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. More statistics 


The case for forcible transfer of children at the ICC – On 20 December 2019, the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) concluded her 5-year preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine and announced that “there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes have been or are being committed”. The case has now been referred to a panel of judges to determine if there is jurisdiction to proceed to a formal investigation. A decision on this threshold jurisdictional question is expected within 120 days. If the Court determines that it does have jurisdiction there is a plethora of potential cases to investigate. Read more


Access to children now restricted in the military courts - Until recently public access to hearings in Israeli military courts in the West Bank was generally permitted upon application. In practice, the general policy to allow public access to hearings involving children has now changed, with most military judges excluding outside observers even in cases where parents have requested their presence. Although this development is framed in terms of the “best interests” of the child, this claim cannot be verified as the judges rarely provide adequate reasons for their decisions or attempt to ascertain the child’s best interests. Read more


Right to silence: update – Under Israeli military law a suspect has the right to silence and must be informed of this right prior to interrogation. Following the release of reports by a delegation of UK lawyers and UNICEF, Israeli military authorities announced in 2013 that “a revised Arabic text to notify children arrested for alleged security offenses of their right to remain silent” would soon be introduced. Recent evidence indicates that 80% of children are currently not being informed of this right, and in only 2% of cases are children being notified in writing. In just one case a child exercised the right to silence after being notified. Comparative Graph


A child’s testimony – On 6 November 2019, a 14-year-old minor from Aida refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 a.m. He reports being informed of his right to silence and consulting with a lawyer via phone prior to interrogation. “I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. to the sound of banging at our front door. I remained in bed. My father opened the door and three Israeli soldiers entered our home and came straight into my bedroom. One of the soldiers told me to get up and go to the living room. They sat me down in the living room by myself. Then I heard a soldier tell my father they wanted to take me for questioning and would bring me back soon. Read more


A soldier’s video testimony: “Handcuffed children at a checkpoint” – In this video a former Israeli soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how children as young as 10-years-old were detained and handcuffed at checkpoints, possibly for throwing stones or cursing soldiers. After dark the parents of the children would come to the checkpoint and beg the soldiers to release their children. Some of the parents would beat their children in front of the soldiers to show the soldiers that they were “educating” their children in the hope that the children would then be released. Video


745 Testimonies                                          Annual Report (2019)                                         Videos