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URGENT APPEAL: Illegal detention of children inside Israel

Defence for Children International

DCI, March 17, 2010

UA - 2/10 : URGENT APPEAL : DCI-Palestine

Incident  Illegal detention of children inside Israel
Location  Rimonim Prison, Israel
Nature of incident  Illegal transfer of child detainees from WB to Israel
Date of incident  On or about 8 March 2010 and continuing
Places of detention  Rimonim, Megido, Hadarim, al Jalame, al Mascobiyya


DATE OF ISSUE: 15 March 2010

Nature of incident

On or about 8 March 2010, Israeli authorities transferred at least seven Palestinian children from Ofer Prison, in the West Bank, to Rimonim Prison, inside Israel. This decision occurred after lawyers for DCI-Palestine informed Ofer military court that children were being detained illegally with adult detainees inside Ofer prison. However, the response of the Israeli authorities to transfer the children to Israel amounts to a further contravention of international law. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of detainees out of occupied territory. All of the children transferred were aged 15 or less. Seven of the children transferred are represented by DCI-Palestine and have been detained since 11 February 2010, after being arrested in dawn raids from the Al Jalazun refugee camp, near Ramallah, in the West Bank (see DCI-Palestine Urgent Appeal 1/10).

Background information

The Occupied Palestinian Territory has been held by Israel under military occupation since June 1967. Under international law the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian civilian population who hold 'protected persons’ status. Israel ratified the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1951. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states as follows:

'Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein …’

According to information obtained from the Israeli Prison Service, there are currently six Israeli prisons used to detain Palestinian children (12 - 17 year olds)*. All but one of these prisons (Ofer Prison) is inside Israel in contravention of Article 76 of the Convention. According to figures compiled by DCI-Palestine and the Israeli Prison Service, there are currently 343 Palestinian children in Israeli detention facilities, of which 194 are being detained illegally inside Israel. There are a number of practical consequences of detaining Palestinian children illegally inside Israel, including:

  • Making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for family members to visit their children due to freedom of movement restrictions; and
  • Making it difficult for the children’s lawyers, including lawyers from DCI-Palestine, to visit their clients and provide legal assistance.

Recommended action

Please send Urgent Appeals urging:

1. An immediate end to the practice of detaining Palestinian children inside Israel in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

2. Ensuring that all Palestinian child detainees are held in separate facilities from adults and in conditions that meet international standards.

3. Ensure that all Palestinian child detainees held in Israeli detention facilities receive at least one family visit per week.

Appeals to:

Please inform DCI-Palestine if you receive any response to your appeals and quote the UA number at the top of this document – ria@dci-pal.org  

* Ofer (West Bank), Rimonim (Israel), Megido (Israel), Hadarim (Israel), Al Jalame (Israel) and Al Mascobiyya (Israel) prisons.

:: Article nr. 64274 sent on 18-mar-2010 07:40 ECT


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