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]

12

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]

19

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

1,264

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

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]

411

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

10

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

12,000+

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]

500

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]

Notes

[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.”

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