According to a UN expert, more than 800,000 Palestinians, including children as young as 12, have been detained by Israel since the 1967 occupation.
Israel has detained more than 800,000 Palestinians in the occupied territories since 1967, including tens of thousands of childrenand current 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails around 1,100 are being held without charge or trial, an expert told the UN Human Rights Council.
Currently, there were 160 Palestinian children among those being held in Israeli prisons, Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, told the council on Monday.
Albanese, presenting a report on the arbitrary detention of Palestiniansdescribed Israel as treating the occupied Palestinian territory like an open-air prison.
“Israel’s military occupation has transformed the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory in an open air prisonwhere Palestinians are constantly confined, monitored and disciplined,” Albanese told the council.
— UN Committee on Palestinian Rights (@UNISPAL) July 10, 2023
Israel’s practice of unlawfully imprisoning Palestinians amounted to international crimes that warranted an urgent investigation by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the UN said in a summary of the special rapporteur’s presentation.
“Especially since these offenses seemed to be part of a plan to ‘de-Palestinise’ the territory. This threatened the existence of a people as a cohesive national group,” the summary adds.
Albanese told the board that many Palestinians were found guilty without evidencearrested without warrant, held without charge or trial and brutalized in Israeli custody.
“Under Israeli occupation, generations of Palestinians have endured widespread and systematic arbitrary deprivation of liberty,” she told the council, according to German news agency DPA.
In his report, Albanese describes a system of “apartheid imposed on the Palestinians” which must end “immediately”.
The Special Rapporteur also called on governments not to recognize or support illegal Israeli settlements and to hold those responsible for these settlements accountable.
#HRC53 | Special Rapporteur @FranceskAlbs Says Israel’s illegal prison practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory amount to international crimes and have turned it into an open air prison.@UNGenevasummary of the meeting ⤵️https://t.co/2Ij9LQW0rm
— United Nations Human Rights Council 📍 #HRC53 (@UN_HRC) July 10, 2023
According to DPA, in late June, the UN Human Rights Office updated its database with the names of companies involved in settlement construction. The list mainly includes Israeli companies, but also from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Luxembourg. The United Nations Human Rights Council commissioned the database.
Israel was not present during Albanese’s presentation on Monday, according to the UN’s summary of the presentation, and Israel has repeatedly dismissed criticism of conditions in the UN-occupied Palestinian territories.
The State of Palestine, speaking as a concerned entity on Monday, expressed support for the work of the special rapporteur “despite attempts to target” his mandate, the UN said in the summary.
“Israeli military occupation has turned the entire occupied Palestinian territory into an open-air prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, monitored and disciplined,” @FranceskAlbs said today.https://t.co/hwoITOtYpw
Full report to #HRC53: https://t.co/O8mm9JmLxo pic.twitter.com/qiyQXJkBnc
— United Nations Geneva (@UNGeneva) July 10, 2023