“Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment,…or unlawful confinement of a protected person… taking hostages…” Article 147 of the 4th Geneva Convention
Israel, the occupying Power, allows for the arbitrary detention of any Palestinian civilian for up to 6 months without trial and the detention orders can be extended indefinitely for additional 6-month periods. In practice, however, many have been detained for much longer periods, some up to or over 7 years. There is no minimum age for arrest or detention and thousands of Palestinians, including children, have been illegally detained Their are now 11,000 Palestinians, including at least 400 children, 116 women and 40 elected Palestinian officials being held in Israeli prisons or detention centers.
The physical and mental ill-treatment, abuse, degradation and torture of prisoners and detainees, in Israeli jails and detention centers are widespread. Such abhorrent treatment of Palestinian prisoners has been reported on by U.N. bodies as well as by numerous human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and even by Israeli human rights organizations such as B’tselem and Hamoked.
All these Israeli violations of basic human rights including the denial of family visits, denial of adequate medical care and food, and denial of due process of law for prisoners and detainees and their subjugation to deplorable living conditions continue despite the international communities calling upon Israel to respect the relevant international laws. The International Committee of the Red Cross also continues to reiterate its calls upon the Israeli authorities to allow family visits; unfortunately, these calls go unheeded by the occupying Power.