On 29 October, 2007, HaMoked filed a petition on behalf of sixteen Palestinian residents of the West Bank who were being held in detention in military temporary facilities in breach of international and Israeli law. Following a previous petition by HaMoked, on a similar matter, an Advisory Committee to the Chief of Staff was established. The Committee determined that detainees were being held at the temporary holding facilities for inconceivably and unacceptably long periods of time. The Committee also held that “the State and its establishments must treat detainees in a worthy manner, provide their living necessities and maintain their dignity even when they are non-Israeli citizens who are held on security grounds.”
So the Committee made its determinations. Still, the Petitioners and other detainees are held in detention facilities for over 21 days. One of the Petitioners has been held in his cell for over two months. Holding conditions at the Etzion facility are unacceptable and do not live up to the standards warranted by international law. For example, the detainees report overcrowding in the cells, lack of food, hot water and hygienic products. They do not receive a change of clothes; the medical treatment they receive is deficient; they are forced to defecate in plastic bottles and their requests for more food go unanswered. The detainees in the Shomron detention facility report similar and even worse conditions.
HaMoked claims that the military is consistently violating security legislation, as well as the principles of Israeli constitutional and administrative law as regards holding conditions in the temporary facilities. It suffices to mention that the order regarding the operation of a detention facility stipulates that the detainees must receive adequate food and they must be allowed to have contact with the outside world in the form of family visits and mail. Even these basic orders are not kept.
On 13 November, 2007, after many detainees remained in the holding facilities despite the petition, HaMoked submitted an updating notice to the Court regarding the detainees whose rights continued to be violated and who have not been transferred to IPS facilities. HaMoked repeated its demands, emphasizing the military’s omissions and the severe harm to the detainees.