The UN expert says that 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 children, and of the current 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons about 1,100 are being held without charge or test, an expert told the UN Human Rights Council.
Currently, there are 160 Palestinian children among those imprisoned 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 Palestinians, described Israel as treating the occupied Palestinian territory as an outdoor prison.
“The Israeli military occupation has turned the entire Palestinian territory into an open-air prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, guarded and disciplined,” Albanese told the council.
— UN Palestinian Rights Committee (@UNISPAL) July 10, 2023
Israel’s practice of unlawful detention of Palestinians “constitutes international crimes that require an urgent investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court”, the UN said in a summary of the presentation of the special rapporteur.
“Furthermore, these violations appear to be part of a plan for the ‘de-Palestinization’ of the territory. It threatens the existence of a people as a national united group,” added the summary.
Albanese told the council that many Palestinians are considered guilty without evidence, arrested without warrants, detained without charge or trial, and tortured in Israeli custody.
“Under the Israeli occupation, generations of Palestinians have endured widespread and systematic arbitrary deprivation of liberty,” he told the council, according to German news agency DPA.
In his report, Albanese described a system of “apartheid imposed on the Palestinians” that must be ended “immediately”.
The special rapporteur also called on governments not to recognize or support illegal Israeli settlements and to hold those responsible for those settlements accountable.
#HRC53 | Special Rapporteur @FranceskAlbs Says Israel’s Unlawful Carceral Practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Are Like International Crimes and Make It an Open Prison.@UNGenevasummary of the meeting by ⤵️https://t.co/2Ij9LQW0rm
— United Nations Human Rights Council 📍 #HRC53 (@UN_HRC) July 10, 2023
According to the DPA, at the end of June, the UN Human Rights Office updated its database with the names of companies involved in the construction of the settlement. The list includes the main Israeli companies, but also some from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Luxembourg. The UN Human Rights Council commissioned the database.
Israel was not present at Albanese’s presentation on Monday, according to a UN summary of the presentation, and Israel has repeatedly rejected criticism of conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory at the UN.
The State of Palestine, which spoke 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.
“The Israeli military occupation has turned the entire Palestinian territory into an open prison, where Palestinians are constantly confined, guarded and disciplined,” @FranceskAlbs said today.https://t.co/hwoITOtYpw
Full report on #HRC53: https://t.co/O8mm9JmLxo pic.twitter.com/qiyQXJkBnc
— United Nations Geneva (@UNGeneva) July 10, 2023