The Israeli occupation has recently escalated its use of administrative detention orders against Palestinian minors, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories “B’Tselem” has revealed.
In a new report released on Thursday, B’Tselem said that the number of Palestinian minors held in administrative detention by Israel has risen steadily, from four in October 2015 to thirteen at the end of April 2016.
Administrative detention is detention without indictment or trial that is authorized by administrative order rather than by judicial ruling.
According to international law, it can be used only as “a last resort for averting danger that cannot be prevented by less harmful means”. However, B’Tselem asserts that Israel's use of administrative detention blatantly violates international law.
“Neither [the detainees] nor their counsel are granted access to the [submitted] material so they do not even know what evidence, if any, there is against them and cannot mount a proper defense,” B’Tselem said, adding that detainees do not even know what allegations have been brought against them, nor do they do not know when to expect release.
“Although each individual administrative detention order has a six-month upper limit, detention can be extended for additional six-month periods indefinitely.” B’Tselem stated.
Israel has been using the mentally and psychologically draining administrative detention as a punitive measure against Palestinians who engage in anti-occupation activism.
Arbitrary administrative detention orders also serve as means to paralyze the Palestinian civil society and drain it of brains and experts.
By the end of May, 715 Palestinians were held under so-called “administrative detention”, including 3 Legislative Council members.
Also by the end of May, as many as 414 Palestinian child prisoners, including 104 under the age of 16, were serving time in occupation prisons for various alleged charges.
In April 2016, Defense of Children International, in Ramallah published a report detailing the widespread and systematic ill-treatment of Palestinian children in the Israeli military detention system. From meals prepared in a makeshift kitchen to adult prisoner “caregivers,” the report offered a rare glimpse into Palestinian children’s daily living conditions in Israeli prisons.