ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION: GET THE FACTS

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31 March 2009

As of March 2009, there were 650 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers including 5 women and 13 children under the age of 18. Israeli military and civil laws related to the administrative detention orders are based on the British Mandate Emergency Law for the year 1945. Military Order 1226 (1988) empowers commanders of the Israeli army to detain Palestinian West Bank residents, for up to six months if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.” No definition of “public security” is given and the initial six-month period can be extended by additional six month periods indefinitely.

What is Administrative Detention?

As of March 2009, there were 650 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers including 5 women and 13 children under the age of 18.

  • Israeli military and civil laws related to the administrative detention orders are based on the British Mandate Emergency Law for the year 1945.
  • Military Order 1226 (1988) empowers commanders of the Israeli army to detain Palestinian West Bank residents, for up to six months if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security require the detention.”
  • No definition of “public security” is given and the initial six-month period can be extended by additional six month periods indefinitely. Administrative detention orders are issued either at the time of arrest or at some later date and are often based on secret evidence collected by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA). Neither the detainee, nor the detainee’s lawyers are given access to the secret evidence.
  • The detainee is brought before the Administrative Detention Court within eight days of his or her arrest, for the Court to decide on the legality of the detention, however, information concerning the reasons for the detention remains secret.

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