Days of Palestine – Ramallah
Taken away from their children, dozens of Palestinian women are suffering abuse in Israeli prisons; The Palestine Center for Prisoner Studies (PCPS) has said that 33 Palestinian women are being held in Damon jail under inhumane incarceration conditions.
PCPS explained that the Israeli prison service escalated in recent months its violations against the prisoners in the jail through depriving them of multiple basic rights, carrying out repeated raids on their cells, maltreating them, confiscating their belongings, and fining them for allegedly violating prison laws.
Among the female detainees, there are seven mothers and several elderlies, and some of the female detainees suffer from very difficult health conditions and deliberate medical neglect, like the case of prisoner Israa Jaabis, who suffers from burns and needs surgical procedures.
In a recent report, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said Israeli authorities are holding 51 women, including nine injured females and two minors.
According to the NGO, Israel has detained 516 women since 2015, of whom 90 women have been arrested since the beginning of this year.
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Last month, Palestinian female journalist Lama Khater was arrested in an Israeli raid on her home in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“Dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded and raided our house before arresting her in front of our children,” her husband Hazem Fakhouri told Anadolu Agency.
A mother of five, Khater is a Palestinian activist, who writes a series of articles in a number of Palestinian dailies.
“We have lost a big part since she was arrested,” Fakhouri said. “We are missing her terribly; she is not only a mother of our children but is also a friend.”
Fakhouri accused Israeli soldiers of abusing his wife, citing that soldiers have kept shouting at her during detention.
“She was transferred several times to a doctor, who only gave her some painkillers before sending her back for interrogation,” he said.
“Lama’s place is among her family and her kids who need her and miss her,” he said, using the first name of his wife.
After 34 days of interrogation, Khater was sent to prison waiting for her trial, which will be held on October 10.
According to Addameer, Israel had arrested 10,000 Palestinian women since the 1967 Middle East war.
There are approximately 6,500 Palestinians currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to Palestinian figures.
Another painful story is the case of Israa Jaabis, a Palestinian woman who was disfigured by an Israeli attack on her car and left to suffer in Israel’s Hasharon prison.
“Jaabis urgently needs to undergo cosmetic surgeries on her hands, face, ears, and teeth,” Ra’afat Hamdoneh, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, said.
Jalebis were detained by Israeli forces in October 2015 when her car exploded as a result of the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder she was transporting, leaving her with severe burns.
Israeli authorities accused her of purposefully attempting to blow up her car and sentenced her to 11 years in jail on charges of attempted murder.
According to Hamdoneh, Jaabis’ fingers were amputated and she breathes mostly through her mouth due to a gaping hole in her nose.
“She also suffers from a nervous breakdown, shock, and severe psychological problems aggravated by her imprisonment,” he said.
Sahar Francis, director of Addameer, said Israeli soldiers abuse Palestinian women from the first moment of their detention.
“Torture and abuse start from the first moment of detention and continue during interrogation,” Francis told Anadolu Agency.
She described interrogation as the “most violent part” of the detention.
“Prisoners are not only subjected to physical torture — such as being tied and beaten – but are also targeted because of their gender,” she said.
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