Wednesday 07 June 2023

Number of Prisoners Held Without Trial in Israeli Jails Hits Highest Peak Since 2008

The number of administrative detainees in Israel has soared since the wave of resistance attacks last March, reaching more than 700.

Israel is currently holding 723 detainees in prison without trial, the highest number since 2008 and a significant rise from the 671 held at the beginning of August. Eleven of the detainees are Israeli citizens and the rest are Palestinians, Haaretz reported.


The number of administrative detainees in Israel has soared since the wave of attacks in March, with 52 added since the start of August. Arrests have been made since the fighting in Gaza earlier this month against Islamic Jihad and a crackdown on the organization in the West Bank.


Suspects held in administrative detention are incarcerated in Israel without charges filed against them under a system of “preventive detention.” They are not brought before a court, and their lawyers are not provided with the evidence against them apart from a brief summary of the key suspicions. A confidential intelligence report and administrative detention order signed by the chief of the Israel Defense Forces Central Command are presented to the judge who is required to approve the detention, without the detainee in attendance.


“Administrative detention is intended for use in extremely rare cases, and here is it being misused” Haddad said. “If you know there was a rally and it was filmed, why don’t you present photo or video proof and file an indictment?”


Figures provided by the Israel Prison Service to the Movement for Freedom of Information show that as of mid-June, 184 Palestinians, including one minor, were being held in detention for over a year. Administrative detainees comprise about 15 percent of all prisoners, almost double the rate of the previous record for detainees held, which was set in May 2008, when the total was 803.


Palestinian captives are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted, which is in sheer violation of human rights. Advocacy groups describe Israel’s use of the detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.




The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian captives under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

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