Ubiquitous surveillance, mass arrests, and prolonged detentions facilitate Israel’s iron grip of control over Palestinian Jerusalemites. For Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, this means a perpetual awareness of being watched, a constant fear of arrest, and a fabric of life through which prison is invariably woven somehow, in some way. 

The Story in Numbers

1 million

Number of Palestinians arrested by Israel in the occupied West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza since 1967, including tens of thousands of children [1]

2 out of every 5

Number of Palestinian men in the occupied Palestinian Territory who have ever been arrested (in the US, the number is 1 out of every 200 people) [2]


Age at which children can be arrested and held criminally responsible under Israeli law [3]

10 to 20

Number of Palestinians per cell in Israeli jails, which have become more overcrowded since October 7, 2023 [4]


Number of prisons inside Israel that house Palestinian prisoners [5]


Number of Palestinians held in administrative detention as of October 8, 2023 [6]


Number of months for which, under Israeli law, an individual can be held in administrative detention without charges; each six-month term is renewable ad infintum [7]


Number of Palestinian organizations that are criminalized (designated “hostile” under Israeli law), including all major Palestinian political parties, civil society groups and charities. [8]


Number of years in prison for membership in a “hostile” organization [9]


Number of Palestinian children detained by Israel throughout the occupied Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem) since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000 [10]


Approximate number of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (including East Jerusalem) who have been administratively detained each year since 1989, "including children, human rights defenders, students, and political leaders" [11]


[1] “Special Rapporteur Says Israel’s Unlawful Carceral Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Are Tantamount to International Crimes and Have Turned it into an Open-Air Prison,” United Nations Human Rights, July 10, 2023.
[2] “Why Are So Many Palestinians in Israeli Jails?” Al Jazeera, October 8, 2023.
[3] “New Israeli Law Allows Children as 12 To Be Jailed,” Defence for Children International.
[4] Alessandra Bajec, “Inside Israel’s Mass Imprisonment of Palestinians,” November 29, 2023.
[5] “So Many Palestinians.”
[6] “So Many Palestinians.”
[7] “Administrative Detention,” The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories,” Accessed January 16, 2024.
[8] Francesca Albanese, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967, July 14, 2023.
[9] Situation of Human Rights
[10] “So Many Palestinians.”
[11] “So Many Palestinians.”