Israeli Prison Service: 71% of Israeli Prisoners are Palestinian

IDF soldiers arrest a 7-year-old Palestinian child. (Photo: ISM, file)

More than double the proportion of Israel’s general prison population consists of Palestinian and other non-Jewish inmates, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Israel currently has approximately 6,365 Palestinian “security” prisoners, and it rules over approximately 4.5 million Palestinians.

The Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) has stated that out of 20,568 inmates, only 5,659 are Jewish and 12,397 are Arabs.

+972 Mag’s Noam Rotem stated that 2,512 prisoners are classified as other,” which includes asylum seekers being held in detention camps and other non-Israelis who are not of Jewish or Arab backgrounds.

According to human rights group B’Tselem, 511 minors are in Israeli custody, which would make the proportion of Jewish juveniles in prisons 13 percent.

A report from Human Rights Watch in May 2016 found that the number of children detained since October 2015 has more than doubled in the West Bank, and minors were being frequently abused by Israeli security forces.

75% of Palestinian children interviewed reported enduring physical violence by Israeli forces after being arrested.

Sari Bashi, country director of Human Rights Watch in Israel and Palestine, has condemned the practice saying, “Palestinian children are treated in ways that would terrify and traumatize an adult.”

The majority of prisoners from the occupied territories (81 percent), are allegedly security prisoners compared to the other 19 percent who are “criminal prisoners,” according to the IPS statistics.

Raghad Jaraisy, director of the Arab minority rights department at the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, told +972 Mag. “The daily discrimination the Arabs in Israel experience, the absence of frameworks that would prevent young people from resorting to crime, lack of resources for the preventive care, poverty and hardship, all come together to explain the disproportionate number of Arab prisoners.,”

A study commissioned by Israel’s Courts Administration and the Israel Bar Association found that Palestinians are given harsher prison sentences than Jews convicted of the same offenses.

(RT, PC)

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