Administrative detention (in Israel or the Occupied Territories)

Imprisonment without charge or trial decided in accordance with the « Law on emergency powers (detention) » adopted by the Knesset in 1979 (also called « 1979 detention law »). This law permits this kind of internment for a period of up to six months, renewable.

It was used on a very large scale from the beginning of the Intifada in December 1987. Between 10.000 and 15.000 Palestinians are detained permanently in this way in several major detention camps created in 1988 (Ketziot, in the Negev desert – in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention – , Ansar II in Gaza, etc). All Palestinian leaders « of the interior » are regularly interned for varying lengths of time in administrative detention.

Israel does not only apply this law on its own territory and in the Occupied Territories. Since the 1970s and in particular after its invasion of Lebanon in 1978 and subsequently in 1982, Israel has kidnapped, abroad or on the high seas, many people who were subsequently imprisoned under this law. Amongst the best known cases, that of Sheik Obeid who was kidnapped from his home on 28 July 1989 and has been imprisoned since.

Despite the Oslo Agreements, which provide i.a. in the liberation of Palestinian political leaders, Israel has only released a limited number, keeping in prison those accused of having « Jewish boold on their hands ».

Amnesty International has appealed on several occasions to put an end to this procedure considering « that it is a violation of fundamental human rights … and that this type of detention should in no circumstances be substituted for penal justice nor permit guarantees to be circumvented ».