Israel is currently holding 4,623 Palestinian "security" prisoners, the highest number since the beginning of the year, according to a report issued by Hamoked.
The Israeli Non-Governmental Organisation, which regularly gathers figures from Israeli prison authorities, revealed that the Palestinian "security" inmates consist of 2,378 sentenced prisoners, 1,447 remand detainees and 798 administrative detainees, held without trial.
A statement released on behalf of the prisoners yesterday, described administrative detention as "arbitrary, Nazi, sadist and immoral". The system allows Palestinian prisoners – it is never used for Israeli Jews – to be held indefinitely with neither charge nor trial, based on secret evidence.
According to Hamoked, the overwhelming majority of "security" prisoners are Palestinians from the Occupied Territories, despite the move being a blatant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prohibiting the transfer of prisoners and detainees outside the occupied territory.
"Administrative detention should be an exceptional measure, but Israel makes wholesale use of this detention without trial," said Jessica Montell, Hamoked's Executive Director. "This has to stop. If Israel cannot bring them to trial, it must release all administrative detainees."
A graph published in the report by Hamoked, illustrates how the number of Palestinians imprisoned in administrative detention has risen steadily this year, as Israel conducts nightly arrest raids and home invasions in the occupied West Bank.
Overnight raids by the Israeli army are a near-daily practice in the occupied West Bank. Israel claims that they are essential for intelligence purposes, but rights groups have slammed the practice, insisting that the goal is to oppress and intimidate the Palestinian population and increase State control.