Israeli military courts routinely order Palestinian defendants held until a verdict is reached, turning legal proceedings into a “hollow formality,” an Israeli rights group said Monday. Remand to custody is “the rule rather than the exception,” the group B’Tselem said in a report. It said most defendants enter plea bargains because waiting for trial means more time behind bars.
B’Tselem said it based its findings on partial figures because full statistics are not made public. The Israeli military said the report used “selected examples in a biased manner which distorts the reality of the situation.” Thousands of Palestinians appear before military courts every year on charges ranging from stone-throwing to membership in outlawed groups, violence and weapons offenses.