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Israel reduces detention period for Palestinian youths for non-security offenses

Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian man near the Jewish settlement of Beit Hadassah, in the West Bank city of Hebron, on October 29, 2015 after a Palestinian youth was shot dead while trying to stab a soldier
Menahem Kahana (AFP)

The detention period for young Palestinian prisoners detained by Israeli security forces in the West Bank for non-security related offenses will be reduced from 24 to 12 hours, under a new directive issued by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday.

The new procedure will cut in half the maximum amount of time that Palestinian detainees under the age of 14 not suspected of security or terrorism-related offenses can be held by Israeli authorities without being brought before a judge for a hearing on whether or not to extend the suspect's detention.

There will be a similar reduction in incarceration time for adult detainees not suspected of security offenses, the exact details of which were not immediately available.

The new directive will also see detainees under 14 who are remanded into custody until the conclusion of legal proceedings freed after 45 days, while adult prisoners will be released after a 90 day period.

The new directive came in response to two petitions filed with Israel's High Court of Justice in 2010 by the Association of Civil Liberties in Israel (ACRI) and the Palestinian Prisoners Club, against the lack of differentiation between adult and minor detainees.

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