According to figures recently published by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), 9 Palestinian women and 1 girl were held in Israeli military detention at the end of January. In all 10 cases, the women and child were transferred out of the West Bank to prison facilities inside Israel. The transfer and detention of these women inside Israel violates Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ratified by Israel in 1951. Article 76 relevantly provides that:
“Protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein.”
In addition to being illegal, transferring these women to prisons outside the West Bank makes family visits difficult, and in some cases impossible, due to freedom of movement restrictions placed on Palestinians by the Israeli military. In a written statement released in 2012, the UK Government acknowledged that the transfer and detention of Palestinians inside Israel was in violation of international law.
According to IPS figures there was total of 4, 593 Palestinian men, women and children held in Israeli detention facilities at the end of January, of which 3,970 (86%) were illegally detained inside Israel.
Individuals involved in the transfer and detention process can potentially face criminal action in multiple jurisdictions for what amounts to “grave breaches” of the Convention (see Articles 146 and 147). Further, publicly available evidence indicates that the British/Danish security conglomerate, G4S provides goods and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinians are illegally detained.