The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs issued its annual report of 2016
2016 is the year of political and legal targeting for detainees
The commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs has issued its annual report on the violations of Israeli, and its crimes against Palestinian detainees inside the Israeli jails in 2016.
The commission considered this year as a continuity of the Israeli occupation policy in targeting detainees in a political and legal way, besides the deprivation of their legal status and the legitimacy of their national struggle.
The commission also states that the racist occupation government deals with detainees according to its military laws not the international law. It also considers them criminals and terrorists who do not have any legal rights. Moreover, the occupation government does not recognize them as prisoners of freedom who are protected by the Geneva convention (IV), and other international and humanitarian charters.
(6635) arrest cases during 2016
The Israeli occupation authorities have arrested (6635) Palestinians during 2016 from all governorates of the country. The largest proportions of arrests, estimated at (4446) arrest cases constituting 67% of total arrests, were in the west bank. Then, the occupied Jerusalem estimated at (1972) arrest cases constituting 29.7% of total arrests. Arrest included (186) Palestinians from Gaza strip constituting 2.8% and rest of them (31) arrest cases were in the territories occupied in 1948.
It is noteworthy that all those who experienced the detention were exposed to one or more kind of physical and psychological torture, or moral abuse and humiliation in public and in front of their family members. This constitutes a serious violation of the rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
(30558) arrest cases during the last six years
The total of arrests over the past six years has reached to (30558) arrest cases. During 2011, (3312) arrest cases were recorded, (3848) cases in 2012,( 3874) cases in 2013, (6059) cases in 2014, (6830) cases in 2015, and (6635) cases in 2016.
The vast majority of arrests in 2016 were in West Bank, where (4446) cases were recorded constituting 67% of total arrests, were in the west bank. Then, the occupied Jerusalem estimated at (1972) arrest cases constituting 29.7% of total arrests. Arrest included (186) Palestinians from Gaza strip (on boarders and Erez checkpoint) constituting 2.8% and rest of them (31) arrest cases were in the territories occupied in 1948.
Children and women detention during 2016
Arrest cases in Palestine included all categories of age and gender. It included males, females and minor children. The most worrying is the targeting of Palestinian children under the age of 18. As we spotted (1384) arrest cases during 2016 for minor children between the age of 11-18 years, constituting 21% of total arrests in 2016, In addition to the detention of (170) women and little girls during 2016.
Administrative detention became a means of collective punishment and a tool for systematic psychological torture.
Administrative detention is an extreme measure. However, it is allowed to use it for security reasons and under set of judicial proceedings and strict restriction, if implemented. As the Israeli occupation authorities have misused the exceptional international approval and did not comply with the stringent restrictions set by the international law. It made the administrative detention a consistent policy in dealing with Palestinians, and resorted to it as an easy option to justify the detention of citizens without charges or trails based on the so-called "secret file". Moreover, the Israeli authorities made the administrative detention as a collective punishment for tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens, which violates the rules of international law.
The Israeli authorities have issued (1704) decisions of administrative detention during 2016, including new orders and renewal orders. During 2016, (623) cases were new orders constituting 36.6% of the total administrative detention decisions, while (1081) cases were renewal orders, constituting 63.4% of the total administrative detention decisions. Bringing the number of administrative detainees at the end of 2016 to more than (700) detainee.
Administrative detention is a detention without charge or trail based on secret file and confidential evidences. According to the Israeli military orders, it can be renewed once or many times without fixing the date of release, where there are many Palestinians who served long years inside Israeli jails under the administrative detention without knowing the reason of their detention.
Arrests due to media activities and Facebook posts.
The occupying state has jailed nearly (50) journalists during 2016, (21) of them are still detained inside the Israeli jails. It also chased everyone who publishes anything that opposes its policy on Facebook. The year 2016 witnessed a wide campaign of arrests among Palestinians on charges of incitement through social media. It arrested (85) citizens on the same charge since the beginning of the popular uprising in October 2015, including (51) under the administrative detention. Most of those arrests centered in Jerusalem.
A case in point is arresting three siblings from Bethlehem on charge of incitement on Facebook, where they arrested the 15-year-old girl Nuran Albalbul in 13/4/2016 for four months, and then they arrested her brothers, Muhammad and Mahmoud Albalbul, under administrative detention on the same charge.
House detention and deportation from Jerusalem
This policy has escalated in 2016 centering on minor children from Jerusalem, accompanied by heavy fines. It aims at restricting the freedom of Palestinians as an alternative of prisons.
Statistics showed that the number of children from Jerusalem who were ordered of house detention is (78) child, in an increase of 30% from the previous year which recorded (60) decisions of House detention.
There are two kinds of house detention: the first one compels the person, whether be man or women, child or girl, to stay at home without getting out of it throughout the specified period. While the second one, which is more difficult than the first, compels the person to be imprisoned at another house. This disperses the family and increases the anxiety among family members, and creates many social and psychological problems for them.
House detention is an arbitrary means which contradicts the rules and provisions of the international and humanitarian law and the international human rights law. It is also used as a collective punishment for the family members.
Unfair, Harsh sentences and heavy fines against minors
The year 2016 witnessed unprecedented deterrent sentences against children detainees in the Israeli military courts. A case in point is a verdict of 12 years of imprisonment against the child Ahmad Manasra in 7/11/2016 and financial penalty worth 180.000 NIS.
Another case in point is a verdict against both children Monther Abu Shmali (15 years old) and Muhammad Taha (16 years old) who were sentenced for 11 years of imprisonment and financial penalty of 50.000 NIS. Moreover, the Israeli court issued a sentence of imprisonment for 16 years against the minor Shoruq Dwayat and a financial penalty of 80.000 NIS.
In addition, the courts of occupation started to issue sentences of paying financial compensations for the benefit of soldiers and their families. A case in point is what happened recently when the Israeli court issued a sentence of imprisonment for 35 years on the detainee Abdul Azeez Mar’e, besides the financial compensation of 285.000 NIS for the families of the killed Israelis.
Detaining children in rehabilitation centers
8 children are still detained in Israeli rehabilitation centers, under tough conditions. They are all from Jerusalem, where the detention lasts until the child becomes 14 years old so they can put him on trial. Those children are Shadi Farrah, Ali Alka, Ahmad Za’tari, Mohammad Abdulrazeq, Mohammad Hushya, Ahmad Abu Khalifa, Adam Sub Laban and Burhan Abu Shaker.
80% of detainees are youths and children
It is noticeable that the Israeli occupation authorities employ all its capabilities to destroy the Palestinian youth and eliminate their potentials by jailing them.
It is also noticeable that there is an increase in arresting this category in 2016. Moreover, they targeted children aiming at destroying their future.
Statistics showed that 80% of arrests were among youths and children (males and females) during 2016.
(1384) children between the ages of 11-18 were arrested, constituting 21% of the total arrests in 2016. While the youth category aging between 10-30 years constituted 59% of the total arrests in 2016, recording (6635) cases.
Israeli jails marginalize disabled detainees
By the end of the year, there is an increasing concern on the lives of patient detainees, who constitute quartet of the total number of detainees numbering about 7000 detainees. They include (80) detainees who suffer from variant disabilities (physical, psychological and sensory). They have tragic living conditions as a result of deliberate neglect. This continuity of torture and medical negligence lead to the aggravating of their cases.
Number of detainees by the end of 2016
Rise of torture against Palestinian detainees
Torture has been rising during 2016 and increased by 400% from the year of 2014. This is a serious indicator that raises the concern such as prolonging the torture period, solitary confinement and psychological pressure. This came under the pretext of obtaining information or confessions from detainees.
Torture does not depend on a specific category and is not limited to the period of investigation, but starts from the first moment of detention and ends y the termination of detention period.
It led to the martyrdom of (71) detainees inside the Israeli jails since 1967. In many cases torture was the cause of permanent disability for many detainees, where tens of them died after their release or had different disabilities due to the physical and psychological torture.
The most prominent methods of torture:
Israel is the only state in the world that legislated torture in a legal way in its prisons with legal protection and judicial immunity. These actions require legal procedures to stop the crimes of Israel.
Hunger strikes increased individually, and sometimes other detainees join the strike against the policy of administrative detention. This increase came in the light of the failure and inability of international institutions to put an end to this crime.
This forced the detainees to choose the most difficult means to face the administrative detention, and to express their rejection of the continued detention without charges or trails.
In this context, tens of detainees have conducted hunger strikes in 2016 against their administrative detention such as: Mohammad Alqiq, Adeeb Mafarja, Bilal Kayed, Malek Alqadi the two siblings Mohammad and Ahmad Albalbul , Anas Shdid, and Ahmad Abu Farah.
Extrajudicial Execution Replacing Detention
Israeli soldiers practiced field executions by shooting detainees and citizens who could have been arrested without being killed. This policy has continued against Palestinian citizens. A case in point is the martyr Abdel Fatah Alsharif who was shot in 27/3/2016 and the child Mahmoud Badran in 21/6/2016.
Betselem noted that since the outbreak of Al-Aqsa intifada in late 2000, they demanded the military prosecution to investigate in 739 cases of people who were killed, injured and used as human shields. Quarter of these cases were not investigated, but closed without any result.
Racist laws against detainees
The Israeli Knesset is described as the most racist in Israel’s history, because of the racist arbitrary legislations issued recently including laws against prisoners.
They issued the law of (anti-terrorism), detainees execution and targeting children in 2016.
The Israeli parliament ratified, in 15/6/2013, the anti-terrorism law put forth by Israeli minister of justice (Ayelet Shaked).
The law aims at putting sanctions against detainees including raising the sentences, legislating administrative detention and prohibiting political and social activities. Moreover, the law aims at undermining the Palestinian political action and criminalizing the Palestinian national struggle, and its legitimate resistance against the occupation.
This law was put forward to the Israeli Knesset in 1/6/2015, and it was activated when Lieberman joined the Israeli government.
It is noticeable that these laws violate the international law and the four Geneva conventions, which protect the rights of detainees.
The Knesset member, Anat Barko, has introduced a request that allows the imprisonment of Palestinian children under the age of 14. The Israeli Knesset approved the draft resolution of arresting minors in its meeting on the evening of August 2, 2016, but it has not enacted yet. She said that the aim of this law is to fight the Palestinian operations committed by minors.
Breaking into section of Palestinian detainees and damaging it is no longer exceptional or seasonal occurrence. Also using the excessive force in dealing with the detainees and assaulting them is no longer an individual exercise carried out by Israeli officers.
The actions of attacks and using excessive force became daily occurrences over the past few years, and increased in a serious way that happen more than once per day.
These practices have received blessings from the higher authorities which were formed for this purpose during the past years. They are Special Forces well trained and equipped with different weapons distributed in all prisons. However, (250) raids were recorded in 2016.