This Quarterly Update covers the period from 15 October 2011 to 15 January 2012. It provides the most up-to-date statistics on prisoners and arrests and an overview of the important trends this quarter. In addition, it gives background on individual prisoner cases and summarizes the most relevant legal, UN and EU news, as well as Addameer's activities over the reporting period.
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CURRENT ARREST AND DETENTION STATISTICS*
||Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli detention, including:
||administrative detainees, including 3 women and 18 PLC members
children, including 31 under the age of 16
||members of the Palestinian Legislative Council
||prisoners who have been imprisoned for more than 20 years
||Palestinians from the 1948 Territories
||prisoners from the Gaza Strip, including 2 detained under the Unlawful Combatants Law
||prisoners from East Jerusalem
||approximate number of Palestinians arrested by Israel during the fourth quarter of 2011 (1 October – 30 December 2011). This marks no significant increase over the third quarter of 2011, and a 10 percent increaseover the same period in 2010.
*Detention statistics are based on reports from the Israeli Prison Service and Addameer’s monitoring. Detention statistics are current as of 31 December 2011, except for the number of women and PLC members, which are current as of 15 January 2012 and based on Addameer’s own documentation. Arrest statistics are based on figures from the Palestinian Monitoring Group and are current as of 31 December 2011.
Number of Palestinians arrested by Israel: January 2008 – December2011
PRISONER NEWS & ADVOCACY UPDATE
Second Phase of Prisoner Swap
On 18 December, 550 Palestinian prisoners were released in completion of the second phase
of the prisoner exchange deal concluded by the Israeli government and Hamas authorities on 11 October. In contrast to the first phase
of the prisoner releases, which saw 477 mutually agreed upon prisoners released on 18 October in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Israeli authorities selected the names of the 550 prisoners released in the second phase. In the past, Israel has been known to renege on its commitments in such deals by releasing prisoners with very little time left to serve, instead of respecting conditions set by Palestinians.
Predictably, Addameer’s analysis
of the list of released prisoners revealed that 65 percent of the prisoners were due to be released by the end of 2012, including 100 prisoners with release dates in December 2011 and January 2012 alone. Furthermore, only 6 of the 11 women in Israeli detention at the time were released, despite agreement by Israel that all female political prisoners would be included in the exchange. Though reportedly there was meant to be an emphasis on sick and long-term prisoners, 74 percent of the released prisoners had sentences of 5 years or less. In addition, only 55 children of the more than 159 children in Israeli detention at the time were released. With the exception of two prisoners arrested in 1999, all of the released prisoners were arrested during or after the Second Intifada, leaving 122 Palestinians arrested before the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords still in Israeli prisons.
Alarmingly, Addameer also documented an extremely high number of arrests between the two phases of the prisoner exchange deal. Between 18 October and 12 December alone, Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) arrested nearly 470 Palestinians. The 470 Palestinians arrested during this period included about 70 children and 11 women. In addition, political activists were especially targeted during this period. Approximately 150 arrests of alleged party members occurred, particularly including those whom the IOF claimed are active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which Addameer believes may be connected to punitive measures for the 22-day hunger strike started on 27 September, as it was initially launched by PFLP prisoners. This wave of arrests revealed Israel’s intention to refill Israeli prisons following any releases. Along a similar vein, even the prisoners released in the first phase of the exchange were not safe from harassment during this period. The IOF has regularly raided their homes, issued summons to meet with Israeli intelligence, prevented family members from traveling to see them and re-arrested one individual. One prisoner released in the second phase of the deal was also re-arrested.
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