The Israeli use of administrative detention, a controversial practice that allows the Israeli occupation to hold suspects without trial for months or even years, has reached its highest level since 2003, according to a report by an Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem.
B’Tselem said that as of November 2021, there were 1,128 Palestinians in administrative detention, including 10 minors and two women. The group said this was the largest number of such detainees since the end of the second intifada, or Palestinian uprising, in 2003.
The group accused the Israeli occupation of using administrative detention as a “tool of oppression” and a “means of collective punishment” against Palestinians, especially those involved in political or social activism. It said that most of the detainees were held based on secret evidence that they and their lawyers could not challenge in court.
B’Tselem also said that the Israeli use of administrative detention violated international law, which allows such measures only in exceptional cases and for the shortest possible time. It called on the Israeli occupation to end the practice and release all administrative detainees or charge them with a criminal offense and grant them a fair trial.
The international community has repeatedly expressed its concern and criticism over the Israeli use of administrative detention against Palestinians. Several UN experts, human rights organizations and governments have called on the Israeli occupation to end this practice and to respect the rights of detainees to a fair trial and due process.