According to figures provided by the Israeli Prison Services (IPS), 482 Palestinians have been held in December 2021 in administrative detention, including four minors.
Administrative detention is incarceration without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense. It has no time limit, and the evidence on which it is based is not disclosed. Israel employs this measure extensively and routinely, and has used it to hold thousands of Palestinians for lengthy periods of time.
While detention orders are formally reviewed, this is merely a semblance of judicial oversight, as detainees cannot reasonably mount a defense against undisclosed allegations. Nevertheless, courts uphold the vast majority of orders.
Israel routinely uses administrative detention and has, over the years, placed thousands of Palestinians behind by bars for periods ranging from several months to several years, without charging them, without telling them what they are accused of, and without disclosing the alleged evidence to them or to their lawyers.
Administrative detainees are often denied regular family visits in accordance with international law standards, deepening their suffering and difficult detention conditions.
The Israeli unlawful use of administrative detention policy against Palestinians clearly violates international laws. Article 78 of the IV Geneva Convention gives the occupying power the authority
to take safety measures concerning protected persons (inhabitants of the occupied territories are regarded in the Convention as ‘protected persons’), including internment for ‘imperative reasons of security’ and not as a mean of punishment.
The Israeli authorities, however, have used administrative detention indiscriminately and as a punitive measure.