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Home » Public statements »

Do official Israeli Prison Service figures present the full picture?

[19 January 2015] – Each month the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) releases data on the number of Palestinian children detained in its facilities. These figures are based on a single head-count conducted at the end of each month and only provide a snapshot of the number of children being held on a single day. Accordingly, a child who enters the system the day after the monthly head-count and is released before the next head-count will not be included in the IPS data. The data also does not show how many children were detained by the military but released without ever entering an IPS facility.

The shortcomings in the available data can be readily observed by reference to cases involving children in the 12 to 13 age category. According to IPS data, no Palestinian child in this category has been detained in its facilities since August 2013. However, the evidence presented in the table below indicates that Palestinian children below the age of 14 were detained by the Israeli authorities for periods ranging from four hours up to 8 days, and in at least one case, held in an IPS facility. It should be noted that the list below is not exhaustive and MCW has no way of knowing exactly how many children above or below the age of 14 have been detained since August 2013.
 
      Evidence of children detained by the military and not recorded in public data
#
Name
Age
Date of arrest
Detention period
1
K.C.
13
14 Nov 2013
8 hours
2
Y.T.
12
31 Dec 2013
5 hours
3
F.Z.
12
26 Feb 2014
10 hours
4
J.M.
13
12 Mar 2014
19 hours
5
M.A.
13
16 Mar 2014
9 hours
6
K.T.
13
17 Mar 2014
8 days
7
I.W.
13
19 May 2014
11 hours
8
M.H.
13
3 Aug 2014
2 days
 
 
According to data released by the Israeli military authorities in February 2014, 1,004 Palestinian children from the West Bank were detained by the military in 2013. However, it is not possible to determine from this data the ages of the children or the length of detention. As a matter of urgency the following data needs to be systematically collected and made publicly available: 
  1. The number of Palestinian children from the West Bank detained by the military each month. This data should also include the ages of these children and the duration of their detention whilst in Israeli custody.
     
  2. The total number of Palestinian children from the West Bank detained in IPS facilities during the course of each month.
 
 
Links 
  1. Israeli Prison Service (IPS) statistics
  2. MCW Progress Report (September 2014)