Detention figures
End of June 2024:

Security Prisoners

Adults: 7.816
Children: 209
Total: 8,025

Percentage held in Israel:

Adults: 69%
Children: 50%

Administrative Detention

Adults: 3,302
Children: 75
Total: 3,377

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Newsletter - October 2015

Detention figures – According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 September 2015, there were 5,244 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 171 children. In the case of children there was a 10 per cent increase in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 12 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 43 per cent of Palestinian children and 86 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Article 8 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. A further 1,798 Palestinians were held in IPS detention as "criminal prisoners" including 27 children. Criminal offences include entering Israel without a permit, most frequently in pursuit of work. More statistics


Observations from the military courts – The workload in the military courts has increased significantly in October. Recent observations suggest that there has been a sharp increase in the use of violent night raids across the West Bank and fewer minors are being released on bail by the military courts. There is also evidence that in response to recent developments the military authorities are engaging in a policy of collective punishment in an attempt to reduce unrest in the West Bank. These measures include revoking work permits for parents of detained minors and in some cases ripping up work permits when parents present them for inspection by soldiers at checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel.
Dogs supplied to the Israeli army by The Netherlands involved in abuses - A recent article published in the Dutch media confirms that the Dutch Government has been approving export licenses for the supply of service dogs to the Israeli military for use in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This has raised concerns in The Netherlands due to evidence indicating that the service dogs are used to attack Palestinian civilians, including minors, and frequently accompany military units when they conduct intimidating raids on Palestinian homes in the middle of the night. The granting of export licenses for service dogs is controversial due to an EU ruling supposed to prevent the issuing of export licenses for the shipment of “strategic goods”, such as pistols and camouflage paint, to Israel. Read more


Summonses in lieu of night arrests: update - Following widespread criticism of the use of night raids to arrest minors in the West Bank, the military authorities announced in February 2014, the introduction of a pilot programme to issue written summonses in lieu of night arrests. The programme operated in the Nablus and Hebron districts but was temporarily suspended in or about September 2014 due to “increased violence”. The military authorities have stated that they did not keep any statistics during the initial operation of the programme making any meaningful internal assessment problematic. Read more


How reliable are official detention figures? – According to figures published by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) there were 156 Palestinian minors (under 18s) held in its facilities in August. According to the same source none of these minors were below the age of 14. However, during the same period MCW collected a testimony from a 13-year-old minor who spent two nights in Ofer prison (operated by the IPS) on 10 August. This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the detention figures published by the IPS are based on a single head count taken at the end of each month. This means that minors who enter the system after the head count and are released before the next head count 30 days later, are not included in the official prison statistics. Further, the IPS figures do not disclose how many children were detained and released by the military without ever entering an IPS facility. These shortcomings in the official data mean that the published detention figures understate the true position and must be treated with caution.


Testimony - On 2 October 2015, a 14-year-old youth from Tuqu’ is detained by Israeli soldiers at 2:30 a.m. and accused of throwing stones. "The day before I was arrested there were clashes in the village and stones were thrown at a settler car. The car was totally destroyed after the settler ran away. On the day of my arrest I was asleep when my mother woke me up at around 2:30 a.m. and told me Israeli soldiers had come to the house to find out who was there. My mother had already opened the door and the soldiers were inside the house. I got out of bed and went to the living room where I found the soldiers. I then heard the soldiers tell my mother they had come to arrest me because I was accused of throwing stones. They gave my mother a document and asked her to sign it. I don’t know what was written in the document." Read more


Huff Post: What can we personally do to get lasting peace between Palestine and Israel (by Sarah Champion MP) - I am by nature an optimist. When I visited Palestine recently with a cross-party group of MPs, I went with the hope that the two-state solution was still a possibility, but now I'm not so sure. On our second day, we reached the town of Hebron in the south of Palestine just as the sun was setting. It is a beautiful place, built from the soft, buttery rock that surrounds it. The sense of history is palpable, it feels like the biblical town you saw in Sunday afternoon films when you were little - there are even donkeys! As we drove, we passed checkpoints, but we were never stopped. As we reached the centre it dawned on me that something was amiss. It was like a ghost town and where were all the people?  Read more


Testimonies                                                      Briefing Note (Sep 2015)                                                  Films