Palestine: A People Detained

“Since the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, over 650,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This forms approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).”

According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, between the years after the Six Day War (1967) and the First Intifada (1988), more than 600,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli jails for a week or more.

According to B’Tselem, there was a decline, starting in 1998, in the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention where, on average, less than 20 were held from 1999 to October 2001. However, with the start of the Second Intifada (2000), and particularly after Operation Defensive Shield (2002), the trend was reversed, and the numbers began to steadily climb.

According to the Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), from the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000 through to April 2003, more than 28,000 Palestinians were incarcerated in prisons or prisoner camps. In April 2003 alone, there were more than 5,500 arrests.

In 2007, the number of Palestinians under administrative detention averaged about 830 per month, including women and minors under the age of 18. By March 2008, more than 8,400 Palestinians were held by Israeli civilian and military authorities, of which 5,148 were serving sentences, 2,167 were facing legal proceedings and 790 were under administrative detention, often without charge or knowledge of the suspicions against them.

In 2010, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that there were “over 7,000” Palestinians in Israeli jails, of them 264 under administrative detention. The main prisons in which Palestinian prisoners apprehended by Israel are held are in the Ofer Prison in the West Bank and the Megiddo and Ketziot prisons in Israel.

On 17 April 2008, the annual day of commemoration for Palestinian Prisoners, Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, published a summary report of statistics noting that there were 11,000 Palestinian prisoners being held in prison and detention in Israel, including 98 women, 345 children, 50 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and 3 ministers of the Palestinian National Authority.

Of these 11,000 Palestinian prisoners, 8,456 were from the West Bank, 762 from the Gaza Strip, 552 from Jerusalem, and 132 from within Israel itself. In October 2008, Haaretz reported that there are 600 Palestinians being held in administrative detention in Israel, including “about 15 minors who do not know even know why they are being detained.”

Child prisoners

Between October 2000 and April 2009, approximately 6,700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 18 were arrested by the Israeli authorities, according to Defence for Children International‘s Palestine Section (DCI/PS).

The number of Palestinian children held in detention and interrogation centres, as well as prisons, both in Occupied Palestinian Territory and inside of Israel, was 423 in 2009. In April 2010 the number was 280. DCI/PS reports that these detentions stand in contravention of international law.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Werkgroep Morkhoven on December 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks for your excellent information. Copied and shared.

    Reply

  2. Many thanks for sharing…

    Reply

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