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Recommendations
 
MCW advocates for the effective implementation of six non-severable recommendations. Progress made in their implementation is recorded in the following table.
 
#
Recommendations
Status
1
Children should only be arrested during daylight hours except in rare and exceptional circumstances. In all other cases summonses should be used.
In 2020, 50 percent of children reported being arrested at night (68 percent in 2019). A pilot scheme to issue summonses in lieu of night arrests introduced in 2014 was utilized in 1 percent of cases in 2020 (8 percent in 2019). In cases where summonses were used the levels of reported abuse were generally significantly lower.
2
All children, and their legal guardians, should be provided on arrest with a written statement in Arabic informing them of their full legal rights in custody.
In 2020, 47 percent of children arrested from home reported that a document with details about their arrest was provided (51 percent in 2019). As in previous years these forms do not include information about the child’s rights while in custody. In 67 percent of cases where documents were provided they were written in Hebrew.
3
All children must consult with a lawyer of their choice prior to questioning.
In 2020, 23 percent of children reported being allowed to consult with a lawyer prior to interrogation (34 percent in 2019). Most children continue to see their lawyer for the first time in a military court after interrogation. Under Israeli military law a detainee must be informed of his/her right to consult with a lawyer on arrival at a police station.
4
All children must be accompanied by a family member throughout their questioning.
In 2020, no child reported being accompanied by a family member throughout their questioning (2 percent in 2019). Whilst there is no legal right under Israeli military law for a parent to be present during interrogation, the military authorities have acknowledged that there is a discretion to permit parents to accompany children.
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.
In 2020, no cases were documented in which an interrogation was audio-visually recorded and a copy of the tape was provided to the defence prior to the first hearing. In 2014, MO 1745 came into effect providing for the audio-visual recording of interrogations involving minors in "non security" cases. However, the overwhelming majority of children are accused of "security offences".
6
Breach of any of these recommendations should result in the discontinuation of the prosecution and the child's immediate release.
Although some military court judges are now being more critical of how children are treated, evidence obtained in breach of these recommendations is routinely relied on to obtain a conviction.
 
  

 Updated: October 2021