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Military Authority Releases Arrest Data For 2015

[27 April 2017] - Israeli military and police authorities recently released data on the arrest and prosecution of Palestinian children in military courts in the West Bank during 2015. The data was released in response to a Freedom of Information application submitted by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

It should be noted that the data provided by the military and police is in many regards confusing and appears to contradict the statistics provided by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS). It is not possible for MCW to independently verify the information which should be considered with caution.
According to the military and police data, 871 children (aged 12-17 years) were arrested in the West Bank in 2015. This compares with 861 child arrests in 2014 and represents an increase of 1.6 percent. However, according to IPS data there was a 15.4 percent increase in the number of children held in IPS detention facilities in 2015, consistent with the upsurge in unrest reported since October of that year. It is not possible to explain this discrepancy from the available data.
Based on the data released by the military and police, the Israeli army arrested 73 Palestinian children in the West Bank each month; 17 children each week; or 2.4 children each day in 2015.

        Source: Israeli military/police
According to the military's data the 871 children arrested in 2015 were processed as follows:
  • 62 percent of children arrested were indicted in the military courts. This compares with 58 percent in 2014. No data was provided as to the length of time the 38 percent of children who were released without indictment remained in custody.
  • 72 percent of children indicted were denied bail and held on remand until the end of the legal proceedings. This compares with 71 percent in 2014. No data was provided indicating how long the balance of the children (28 percent) remained in custody prior to being released, but evidence collected by MCW indicates that bail is frequently only granted following days or weeks in detention. Under Israel's civilian legal system children are released on bail in over 82 percent of cases as opposed to 28 percent in the military courts.
  • 95 percent of children indicted in the military courts were convicted.
The data released by the military and police authorities for 2015 cannot be independently verified by MCW and does not include information about the number of children detained by the military without being formally held under arrest; a number likely to be substantial.