Military Court Watch - Newsletter September 2018

 Web: www.militarycourtwatch.org | Twitter: @MCourtWatch

Web: www.militarycourtwatch.org | Twitter: @MCourtWatch

Newsletter - September 2018

Detention figures

According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 August 2018 there were 5,493 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 239 children(12-17 years). In the case of children there was a 5% decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 4% compared with 2017. These figures include 3 children held in administrative detention. According to the IPS, 58% of child detainees were unlawfully transferred and/or detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention during the month. Child detention rates are currently up 20% since UNICEF published its child detention report in 2013.
More statistics >> 

Evidence update

Based on 40 testimonies collected from children detained by the Israeli military in the West Bank in 2018, the situation remains largely unchanged since 2017. Over half  of children (58%) report being arrested at night while the practice of using summonses in lieu of night arrests appears to have been largely discontinued (5%). The majority of children continue to be handtied (90%) and blindfolded (85%) while over two-thirds (70%) report experiencing physical violence during their arrest, transfer and/or interrogation. While the percentage of children denied their right to silence remains unchanged (82%), there has been a small increase in access to lawyers prior to questioning (23% up from 16%).
See comparative graph >>

EU responds to the question of the forcible transfer of Palestinian children

On 7 December 2015 and 1 February 2018, Military Court Watch (MCW) wrote to the Embassy of the European Union in Tel Aviv concerning Israel’s policy of transferring Palestinian child detainees from the West Bank to prisons located inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (the Convention).  On 26 September 2018, the EU responded stating, inter alia, that:

“The issue of Palestinian prisoners in detention in Israel has been regularly addressed by the European Union (EU) with Israel through normal diplomatic channels. The EU has been repeatedly and consistently calling upon Israel to respect its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law.”
Read more >>

Military issues vague warning to West Bank village

On 28 September 2018, the Israeli military posted the following notice in the West Bank village of An Nabi Saleh: “To the village residents, Terrorist acts and public disorder have recently been carried out in your village and the surroundings that have affected security in the area. Since your area of residence is notorious for acts of violence and terrorism, in the course of the recent period of time, it was decided to take a number of measures to improve intelligence gathering to intercept illegitimate activities and foil terrorism. These operations will continue based on the military commander’s assessment of the situation, and as long as the phenomena of violence and terrorism in the area of your village persist. Israeli Defense Forces.” Residents have not been informed what “measures” will be taken but the village is frequently subjected to night raids and child arrests.
See military notice in Arabic / English

A child’s testimony

On 5 September 2018, a 14-year-old boy from Qalandiya refugee camp was arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 p.m. during clashes. He reports being interrogated at midnight without consulting with a lawyer or being informed of his right to silence. 

“I was in the area near Qalandiya checkpoint at around 3:00 p.m. when boys were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and swearing at them. Then I went to a nearby shop when all of a sudden I was grabbed by the neck by the person who was standing next to me. It turned out he was a soldier in civilian clothes.The soldier dragged me to a small room at the checkpoint and left me there on a chair. About an hour later my mother came.”
Read more >>

A soldier’s video testimony

In this video a former soldier provides a testimony to Breaking the Silence describing how the military would take over a Palestinian home and the soldiers would sleep in the family’s bedrooms.

“We had a two-week operation in Nablus. Every night you go from house to house questioning … there comes a time that you want to sleep, to rest. I remember going into a house and realizing for the first time, as we were going in, the entire unit, 30-45 guys, I realize there is a set of parents, probably 30+ years old, yelling at us. I remember that what went through my mind at the time was how dare they? It was the first time I encountered a Palestinian that tried to display some sort of resistance.”
Watch video >>

Source: Military Court Watch, Newsletter, September 2018 >>


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