[23 March 2020] – On 5 March 2020, the Israeli military authorities in the West Bank announced new measures in response to the Corona Virus including: a reduction in the number of hearings at the military courts; the use of video links to eliminate the need to transport prisoners to court; and the suspension of public access to the courts until further notice. These measures will be reviewed in early April.
Anecdotal evidence suggests hearings at Ofer military court have now fallen from about 200 cases per day to around 15 cases. Cases are generally limited to remand hearings which are conducted by video link with most hearings being adjourned until the end of April or May. Prison visits for family members, lawyers and social workers have also been suspended.
Reports from the field suggest that the Israeli army has dramatically reduced its presence in Palestinian centres of population in the West Bank with incursions only occurring in limited circumstances. Reports also indicate that some individuals suspected of minor offences are being released from police stations and interrogation centres without charge.