Legal Work, Press Releases

States informs High Court it will, for first time, conduct review processes for Palestinian minors

0 Comments 12 March 2018


The state has informed the High Court of Justice that it intends to implement a new procedure for detained Palestinian minors following a petition filed by human rights organizations. Therefore, it requests the petition be dismissed.

Photo: Ofer Military Prison.By Magister, wikipedia

A minor’s right to a review process is mandatory for the protection of minors under international treaties that Israel is a party to.

On March 7 2018, the State informed the High Court of Justice that the military court will be granted discretionary authority to order a detention report for Palestinian minors starting May 2017.  A budget line was allocated for this purpose. In light of this response, the State asked that the petition be dismissed. The petitioners, a number of human rights organizations, requested the order be published and examined first in order to ascertain to what extent it conforms to the standards of the international conventions to which Israel is obligated. The court is expected to rule on this in the coming days.


In February 2017, Rabbis for Human Rights, the Public Committee Against Torture, Physicians for Human Rights and a Palestinian minor petitioned the High Court of Justice through the law firm of Gaby Lasky & Partners regarding the failure of the  military legal system to conduct review processes for Palestinian minors detained in the West Bank.

The petition demands a temporary injunction ordering the state to explain why it won’t enact security legislation that allows for the reviews of minors at the discretion of the military court or at the request of the minor; moreover, it asks why hasn’t a network of Arabic speaking social workers been established that will conduct and present the reviews in a timely fashion to the court?

On the Importance of the Petition:

Minors arrested in Israel are entitled to a review of their detention detailing their personal circumstances  in order to determine if any possible harm was done to him/her by the detainment itself, to assess whether the minor poses any risk or danger, and to establish if any possible alternatives to detention exist. However, in all cases in the West Bank that involve Palestinian minors, this practice is not followed. Without a review process for the detainment, the court will not have the tools required to protect the rights of Palestinian minors and fulfil its legal obligation of only detaining minors as a last resort.

The following statistic clearly illustrates the problem: 70% of indicted Palestinian minors are detained until the end of their proceedings, while only 25% of all indicted Israelis, including adults, are detained until the end of their legal proceedings.

The damage is doubled in light of the reality that exists in the territories where the basic rights of arrested minors may have already been violated before their arraignment. These violations may continue even during their detention when the minors are denied education and rehabilitative services as is the right of minors arrested in Israel.

In addition, the petitioners assert that the lack of reviews inflicts severe and disproportionate harm to the well-being of the child – a basic principle that guides the authorities when handling Israeli minors.

It should be emphasised that the protection of the rights of minors is an obligation under international law in the West Bank and Israel within the framework of Israel’s obligations as a party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).


Share your view

Post a comment

© 2018 Rabbis for Human Rights. Powered by WordPress.