Israel is holding more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees without charge or trial, the highest number since 2003, an Israeli human rights group claims.
HaMoked, an Israeli rights group that regularly gathers figures from prison authorities, says that as of April, there are 1,016 detainees held in administrative detention. Nearly all of them are Palestinians detained under military law, as administrative detention is rarely used against Jews. Four Israeli Jews are currently being held without charge.
Administrative detention orders can be issued for a maximum of six months, but can be renewed indefinitely.
The last time Israel held this many administrative detainees was in May 2003, HaMoked says, in the throes of a violent Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada.
“The numbers always increase when there are heightened tensions on the ground,” says Sahar Francis, a director of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group. Administrative detention “is an efficient tool for the arrest of hundreds of people in a short time.”