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9.9.2018

The military arrested a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, and then failed to locate him: his parents were not provided with any information regarding his whereabouts for four days

The right to be notified of a person's arrest and their place of detention is a basic right of both detainees and their families, and is a precondition for the protection of other rights, such as the right to legal counsel and the right to adequate conditions of detention. These considerations assume even greater weight in cases of detention of minors, who are uniquely vulnerable and require special protections in custody. But while the Israeli authorities are obligated to notify families regarding their loved one's place of detention, the military and the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) do not meet this obligation, and do not even enable Palestinian families to contact them directly and request information. Further, they forbid detainees classified as "security detainees" from communicating with their families. In the vast majority of cases, the only way for families to find out where their loved ones are detained is through HaMoked, which submits thousands of prisoner tracing requests every year to the Military Incarceration Control Center (MICC), on behalf of families who fear for the fate of their loved ones.


On August 31, 2018, the military arrested a 15-year-old Palestinian boy from the center of Hebron. Two days later, having received no information regarding his whereabouts, his parents turned to HaMoked. That same day, HaMoked contacted the MICC, which is obligated to gather and relay up-to-date information regarding the whereabouts of detainees within 24 hours of receipt of a tracing request. But the following day, on September 3, 2018, the MICC stated that it had failed to trace the boy. On the same day, the boy's family received a call from the Palestinian police, which stated that the boy had been transferred to the Ofer Prison two days previously. As such, HaMoked contacted the Ofer Prison directly in an effort to verify the information provided, and was told that the boy was not held there.


Due to the security forces' failure to locate the boy, HaMoked submitted an urgent request to the State Attorney's Office to trace him, in a last attempt to avoid submitting a Habeas Corpus petition. HaMoked emphasized that it is concerned there may be a discrepancy between the boy's details as they appear in the Palestinian population registry, and the details that the military input into its system at the time of arrest. HaMoked further emphasized that as far the boy's parents are aware, their son had not yet met with legal counsel, and they were not provided with any information regarding a detention hearing in his case.


Only on the evening of September 9, 2018, 96 hours(!) after he disappeared from his city, the State Attorney's Office finally announced that the boy was indeed being held in the Ofer Prison, in clear contradiction to information that had been provided by the state earlier that same day.

mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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