Rights group says Israeli military courts routinely hold Palestinians until end of proceedings

A rights group says Israeli military courts routinely order Palestinian defendants held until a verdict is reached, turning legal proceedings into a "hollow formality."

The Israeli group B'Tselem said Monday that remand to custody is "the rule rather than the exception." It says most defendants enter plea bargains because waiting for trial means more time behind bars.

Thousands of Palestinians appear before military courts every year on charges ranging from stone-throwing to membership in outlawed groups, violence and weapons offenses.

B'Tselem says its report is based on partial figures because full statistics are not made public. It says military court practices mean that often "the decision to arrest an individual effectively means a conviction."

Israeli settlers in the West Bank appear before regular courts.

The military had no immediate comment.