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Group: Israel has detained over 135,000 Palestinians since 2000

This file picture shows Palestinian women behind bars at a detention center in the Israeli-occupied territories. (Photo via Twitter)

A prisoner advocacy group has said that the Israeli regime has detained more than 135,000 Palestinians since the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000.

The Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs Commission said in a report on Wednesday that the Israeli regime has persisted in detaining Palestinians from all segments of the society.

It further noted that almost 21,000 children and more than 2,600 girls and women had been among those detained by Israeli forces during that span of time. Four women had to give birth in prison under very difficult conditions.

The commission added that of the members of the Palestinian parliament, a number of ministers and hundreds of academics, journalists, and staff from civil society and international organizations had been arrested.

It also pointed out that half of the members of the Palestinian parliament were detained and several ministers, as well as hundreds of academics, journalists and national and international NGO workers.

The report recorded a remarkable increase in administrative detentions, citing more than 32,000 such detention orders since 2000.

Elsewhere in the report, the commission said that there are around 5,200 Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel.

The number includes 38 women, around 170 children, more than 1,250 administrative detainees, and 700 sick prisoners suffering from various health issues, including 24 with cancer.

There are thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted, which is in sheer violation of human rights. Advocacy groups describe Israel’s use of detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.

According to the Palestine Detainees Studies Center, about 60% of the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails suffer from chronic diseases, a number of whom died in detention or after being released due to the severity of their cases.

UN says Israel using lethal weaponry

In a recent speech before the UN Security Council, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, also confirmed that Israel is holding 1,264 Palestinians in administrative detention. 

He further expressed grave concern over “the intensification of violence in the Occupied West Bank and Israel – at levels not seen in decades – and the use of increasingly lethal weaponry, including in densely populated areas.”

 “Israeli security forces carried out 1,042 search-and-arrest operations in the occupied West Bank, resulting in 1,504 Palestinians arrested, including 88 children.”

During the reporting period, extending from 15 July to 19 September, Israeli security forces killed 68 Palestinians, including 18 children, during demonstrations, clashes, security operations, attacks or alleged attacks against Israelis, and other incidents.

The UN envoy confirmed that a total of 2,830 Palestinians, including 30 women and 559 children, were injured, including 271 by live ammunition and 2,119 by tear gas inhalation.

Wennesland said settlements further entrench the occupation, fuel violence, impede Palestinian access to their land and resources and systematically erode the viability of a Palestinian State as part of a two-state solution.

A human rights group says it has documented several cases of Israeli soldiers gunning Palestinians across the occupied territories and peaceful Palestinian protesters along the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinians stress that such cases must be taken to international courts and Israelis must be held accountable for their atrocities.

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