Israeli military courts
and thousands of military orders have governed the civilian population
in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including PNA-controlled
areas) since 1967. Between 1967 and 1998, approximately 600,000
Palestinians were held in Israeli jails for periods ranging from one
week to life.
The transfer of Palestinians from the OPT to facilities inside Israel
is a war crime under international humanitarian law.
February 2002, Israeli occupying forces have regularly carried out
mass arbitrary detentions without charge during invasions of
Palestinian communities, often indiscriminately rounding up males
between the ages of 15 and 45. Many of these detainees are deprived
of adequate shelter, food, and water during interrogation before
being either released or transferred to detention facilities.
Torture remains common
against Palestinian prisoners during
interrogations by Israeli forces, despite a 1999 Israeli Supreme
Court ruling outlawing some interrogation methods. Such practices
include: beatings, violent shaking, shining a hot burning light into
the eyes and face at close range, sleep deprivation, solitary
confinement, painful shackling, and forcing prisoners to remain in
excruciating positions for long periods of time. Torture techniques
are often designed to inflict maximum pain while minimising physical
marks. The UN Committee Against Torture reminded Israel in November
2001 that there can be no justification for torture under any
circumstances. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, torture is a
Prison conditions for Palestinians often fail to meet
minimum basic standards.
Palestinian prisoners are kept in overcrowded jails, often exposed
to extremes of temperature with inadequate nutrition and poor
hygiene. Access to medical care is also unsatisfactory.
Palestinian minors are sometimes confined with Israeli criminals,
exposing them to physical and psychological dangers.
1995, Israel has
prohibited Palestinian lawyers from the OPT from practicing in
Israeli courts. Moreover, due to Israel’s closure policy,
lawyers from the OPT cannot visit their clients in Israel, and
visits by families are almost impossible, despite efforts of the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
military officers can issue administrative detention orders,
which allow Palestinians to be detained without charge or trial for
indefinitely renewable periods of six months. Approximately 500
Palestinians arrested in Israeli incursions since March 2002 have
been placed into administrative detention.
[Last updated 5 June 2002]