On 29 October 2007, HaMoked submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice in which it described the inhuman conditions prevailing in the temporary detention facilities under the responsibility of the military and noted that detainees are held for protracted periods of time in these facilities. The petition also argued that the military’s behavior is grossly inconsonant with the recommendations of a committee it appointed itself, and that security detainees' needs must be provided for and their dignity maintained.
At a hearing on 29 November 2007, the Court criticized the State’s response to the petition, and added that detainees may not be held in the conditions described by HaMoked. If the State wishes to hold detainees, it must do so in a manner that ensures the realization of their rights. The Court asked HaMoked to supervise developments in the temporary detention facilities and to update the Court as necessary.
On 9 March 2008, HaMoked submitted an updating notification to the Court providing further details of the conditions in which the military holds detainees. HaMoked demanded that the military cease to violate the rights of the detainees. A visit by HaMoked's attorney to the detention facilities revealed that despite the petition and the hearing, little has change. The conditions are still extremely harsh; detainees lack clothes and undergarments; hot water is not available on a daily basis; the windows of the cells do not close properly; there is a shortage of blankets; there is no access to a physician; and detainees are still being held in the temporary detention facilities for periods in excess of the State’s undertaking.
In its updating notification, HaMoked rejects the State’s position as presented in its response dated 29 January 2008, in which the authorities proposed that detainees would not be held in the detention facilities for a period of over 21 days. HaMoked emphasizes that the State should properly undertake to transfer detainees from the temporary detention facilities within a period of no more than eight days. This is the period established in the security provisions as that within which a detainee must be brought before a judge for the extension of detention; it is also the period established for transfer in accordance with the working procedures of the military and the Israel Prison Service (IPS). The respondents have not presented any substantive argument justifying the holding of detainees in the temporary detention facilities for a period of more than eight days. The reasons raised are technical, concerning the arrangement of places in the IPS incarceration facilities. Such matters may be resolved within eight days.
Moreover, HaMoked argues that the current situation, in which detainees who have not yet been brought before a judge are held in conditions worse than those prevailing in prisons holding persons convicted and sentenced, is contrary to Israeli law and case law and to international law.