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Report: Israeli forces detained 388 Palestinians in June alone

July 16, 2017 6:25 P.M. (Updated: July 16, 2017 9:04 P.M.)
People stand outside Ayalon prison in Israel on February 14, 2013. (AFP/Jack Guez, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- According to a joint report released by a number of Palestinian rights groups on Sunday, Israeli forces detained a total of 388 Palestinians, including 70 minors and 13 women, across the occupied Palestinian territory during the month of June.

The numbers -- gathered by Addameer, the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society, and the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs -- show an average of nearly 13 Palestinians detained each day.

The report said that 126 of the imprisoned Palestinians were from occupied East Jerusalem, while 261 were residents of the occupied West Bank, and one was from the besieged Gaza Strip.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs reported that at least 35 Palestinian minors were being held in Israel's Ofer prison who had been detained in June, who were fined a cumulative 38,000 shekels ($10,740) by Israeli military courts.

Sunday's report estimated that a total of 6,300 Palestinians were currently imprisoned by Israel, including 300 minors and 486 Palestinians held under Israel’s contested policy of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges.

The joint statement went on to add that 61 administrative detention orders were issued in June -- 19 new orders, and 42 renewals.

The report estimated that 11 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council were held by Israel as of July 11 -- including MP Khalida Jarrar, who was detained on July 2 before being sentenced to six months in administrative detention by an Israeli court.

The report denounced “an ongoing Israeli pattern of violations of the principles laid down in (international human rights legal) conventions” regarding the rights of prisoners, notably through its use of torture, ill-treatment, and administrative detention.

The organizations quoted Bahaa Kaadan, who has been detained by Israel since April, as saying that he was harshly interrogated for nearly two months, during which he was shackled hand and foot, deprived of sleep, insulted, and threatened.

Kaadan added that Israeli interrogators brought him along during a military raid of his family’s home, forcing him to witness soldiers ransacking his house and verbally abusing his family in an attempt to pressure him into confessing.

“(Israeli) authorities continue to use psychological and physical methods and forms of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation… stress positions, shouting, insults and humiliation, lengthy hours of interrogation, threats of arrests of family members, sleep deprivation, denial of access to lawyers or imprisonment in an interrogation center lacking the minimum conditions for human life, in order to pressure (Palestinians) with a view toward extracting a confession in order to secure a subsequent conviction,” the report lamented.

Addameer has estimated that some 20 percent of Palestinians -- and 40 percent of Palestinian men -- have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.
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