2 Hasharon (Tel Mond): 17 Palestinian female prisoners. It includes the isolation section (section 13) as part of section 11 for political prisoners. In isolation at the moment: Abeer Odeh and Mariam Tarabeen.
3 Neve Tirza (Ramleh): 1 Palestinian female prisoner Wafa’ Al-Bis from Gaza.
Like all Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian female prisoners are victims of the brutality of the Israeli Prison Authority. They are exposed to abuse, humiliation and are subjected to more than 20 forms of violations. They are tortured, beaten, harassed, insulted, tied up for hours under the hot sun or under the rain on a cold day, deprived of sleep, isolated, punished with high fines for no reason, subjected to the continuous firing of tear gas into their cells, continuously denied family visits and calls back home and letters are sent or distributed only once every 3 months. They are also subjected to harsh and humiliating raids and body searches. During raids, mostly at midnight or early morning, tear gas is fired inside the cells and Israeli prison guards beat Palestinian female prisoners, causing many injuries, broken bones and suffocations. Palestinian female prisoners are handcuffed, searched naked, beaten, insulted, their family photos, letters, clothes, medicine and other private belongings are confiscated or destroyed. On 24.06.2010, Israeli special forces in the Damon prison broke into the cells of Palestinian female prisoners in the early morning, assaulted the prisoners, searched the cells and forced them to undress, to sit in a humiliating squatting position for 4 hours under the pretext of inspection. Also, Israeli prison authority prevents Palestinian female prisoners from acquiring more than one book, doesn’t allow them to send out or get in any embroidery work or magazines and decides the number of clothing pieces each prisoner is allowed to posses. The cells are small, over-crowded, damp, lack hygiene, are cold in winter and hot in summer, no sun or fresh air enters them and they are infested with insects and mice. Water is very dirty and undrinkable and food is inedible, forcing the detainees to buy their food and water from the prison canteen for extremely high prices. And because Palestinian female prisoners aren’t allowed to receive any items from their families, they are forced to buy whatever they need from the prison canteens. Some political prisoners are also locked up with Israeli criminals who abuse them regularly while Israeli prison guards watch. One method of punishment favoured by Israeli prison forces is reducing family visitation for Palestinian prisoners from 45 minutes to 15 minutes, or cancelling all visitations despite the hardships the families endure to reach the prisons. When a Palestinian child reaches the age of 16, he/she is prevented from visiting their detained parent anymore without special permits which aren’t easy to get. Qahira As-Sa’di isn’t allowed to see any of her family because her husband and siblings are former detainees and her two children are over 16. Du’a’ Al-Jayyousi, imprisoned since 2002, isn’t allowed any visits from her only brother, and when he got married, the prison authority refused to allow her to phone him.
One form of punishing Palestinian prisoners, for no reason other than being Palestinian and demanding to be treated like humans, is isolation. Palestinian female detainees are punished for the slightest thing with isolation and some prisoners were subjected to solitary confinement more than once such as Latifa Abu Thra’, Abeer Amro, Abeer Odeh, Amna Muna, Nisreen Abu Zeinah, Su’ad Nazzal, Wafa’ Il-Bis and Mariam Tarabeen. On 11.03.2003 six Palestinian female prisoners were punished by the Israeli prison authority with solitary confinement because they demanded the prison authority provide them with hot water for bathing during the cold season. Latifa Abu Thra’ was isolated more than once after she was “announced” in 2007 by the Israeli prison authority as “dangerous to the security of the state of Israel”. She suffers from fibers in the uterus and was supposed to conduct medical tests at Tel Hashomer hospital, but because her hands and feet were chained, the nurse was unable to conduct the tests. After the accompanying policewomen refused to unchain her arms, Abu Thra’ unchained herself, upon which she was attacked by the prison guards and “announced” as “dangerous”. She was further punished with solitary confinement for two months and ten days in Ramleh prison, after which she was returned to Hasharon prison and isolated there. She didn’t get any medical treatment. On another occasion, Abu Thra’ saw the Israeli special forces for the “suppression of prisoners” beat prisoner Sanabil Breek from Nablus. When Abu Thra’ told them to stop beating Breek, the special forces started beating her as well. She defended herself and hit one of them back and was punished with isolation for 4 months in Ramleh prison and a further 2 months of isolation in Hasharon in a tiny cell with cameras observing her 24 hours. Wafa’ Il-Bis spent 7 months in isolation in Ramleh prison, then isolated in Damon, then in Ramleh isolation cell again. Palestinian female detainee Nili As-Safadi was locked up in an isolation cell for more than 45 days in Israeli detention center Bet Hatikva. The cell was dark, she didn’t get any proper food and wasn’t allowed to change her clothes for the length of her isolation. During the interrogation she was subjected to all forms of physical and psychological torture to force her into confessing. When she didn’t confess, her entire family and the family of her husband were detained. Later she was transferred to Hasharon prison in a journey that lasted 12 hours with her hands and legs bound and she wasn’t given any food or water. Amna Muna was not only deprived of family visits as punishment, but was also placed in isolation for 2 years in Ramleh prison. She had been imprisoned together with Israeli criminals who often assaulted her in front of the jailors and she was tied to a bed for days.
Another form of punishing Palestinian prisoners is medical negligence. Palestinian female prisoners in need of medical treatment are denied appropriate and much needed medical care. Medical cases range from cancer to diabetes, to blood pressure problems, and other serious diseases and inflammations. Instead of providing medical help, Israeli prison authority punishes Palestinian prisoners with isolation, withholding medicine and treatment or delaying the provision of medical treatment, thus resulting in and attributing to the deterioration in their health. Palestinian female prisoners are only allowed to see a general doctor and no specialists, and often only when their condition deteriorates. In cases when human rights organizations send a doctor to examine a sick prisoner, the Israeli prison authority delays given the needed permission by placing obstacles. The prisoner has to apply for a “security clearance” so the doctor can enter the prison and this may take more than six months, in which time the health of the prisoner might deteriorate. If security clearance is given, the human rights organization has to apply for a permit for the doctor so he/she may see the prisoner. Even if the doctor is allowed to examine the Palestinian prisoner, he/she is not allowed to issue any medical prescriptions. Palestinian female prisoners are also blackmailed by the Israeli prison authority, for example they demanded that Amna Muna, who is need of an operation, sign a document in which she refuses medical treatment in return for not being isolated. Amal Jum’a suffered from internal bleeding for 6 months, after which it was discovered she has uterine cancer. Israeli prison authority “refused to give her the necessary medical treatment, nor was a stretcher made available. This meant that other female detainees had to carry her on their shoulders in order to move her from one place to another, because her condition had deteriorated so dramatically that she was no longer able to move alone.” When she finally underwent a surgery in the Israeli prison hospital to remove her uterus, a Palestinian prison association sent her a private doctor because she received little medical attention from the Israeli prison authority. Former Palestinian female prisoner Raja’ Al-Ghoul, who has heart problems, reports how once, while in Israeli detention, her blood pressure was extremely high and despite calls for help from her fellow Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli prison authority ignored her state until she fainted. After many protests, Al-Ghoul was finally taken to the prison clinic where she was left for 2 hours without any attention, after which she was transferred to a hospital. She didn’t get any medical treatment, but was tied to a bed for 2 days and was in such suffering that she preferred to be returned to her cell. On 09.02.2011, it was reported that the medical clinic at the Hasharon prison refused to provide medical assistance to Qahira As-Sa’di who suffers from severe inflammation of the jaw and gum and is in urgent need to remove her infected teeth. The clinic also refused to allow a specialist to see her even on her own expenses. As-Sa’di, together with Ireena Sarahna, Rima Daraghmeh and Sana’ Shehadeh, suffer from severe teeth ache that prevents them from chewing their food and causes them weight loss. Palestinian female prisoners have also to endure giving birth in inhumane conditions. Alone during Al-Aqsa Intifada no less than 4 Palestinian women were forced to give birth in Israeli prison hospital while their hands and legs were cuffed such as Mirvat Taha, Manal Ghanim, Samar Sbeih and Fatima Az-Ziq. They didn’t get appropriate medical care before, during and after giving birth and weren’t allowed to have family members by their side while in prison hospital.
Currently, at least 20 Palestinian female prisoners are in urgent need of medical treatment:
1 Abeer Amro: suffers from back pain, skin allergies, anaemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency, weak eyesight and headache. When her health started deteriorating 5 years ago, her family tried several times through a lawyer to send a doctor to treat her, but the Israeli prison authority refused. She also suffers from severe weight loss (from 80 kg to 42 kg) causing her recurring unconsciousness and she can barely walk. After being beaten by Israeli jailors in Tal Mond, Abeer complains from weak eyesight and weak hearing.
2 Wurud Qasim: suffers from inflammation of the tonsils.
3 Sumoud Karajeh: suffers from severe tooth problems and pain.
4 Su’ad Nazzal: suffers from fractures in the jaw and gum inflammations.
5 Iman Ghazzawi: suffers from rheumatism, arthritis, headache, stomach ache and allergies.
6 Latifa Abu Thra’: suffers from fibers in the uterus and diabetes.
7 ‘Aisha ‘Ibayyat: needs a surgery in the jaw, suffers from inflammations in the ear nerve that threaten her hearing ability and pain in the backbone.
8 Wafa’ Il-Bis: suffers from severe burns in 50 % of her body which got worse because of the humidity and lack of ventilation in the isolation cell.
9 Amna Muna: suffers from back problems due to torture and needs an operation.
10 Abeer Odeh: suffers from pains in the chest.
11 Alia Al-Ja’bari: suffers various illnesses, problems in the liver, the thyroid, had operation in ear before detention and in need of continuous medical attention.
12 Amal Jum’a: suffers from uterine cancer.
13 Kifah Qatash: suffers from a rare disease which causes narrow arteries and prevents blood flow to the limbs causing breathing difficulties. She is need of constant medical care. She also suffers from rheumatism, skin allergy, inflammation of the eye and a chronic infection of the liver. But despite all this, her administrative detention was extended 3 times till now.
14 Ramia Ratib: suffers from infections of the veins
15 Ahlam At-Tamimi: suffer from back pain caused by torture.
16 Qahira As-Sa’di: suffer from back pain caused by torture and continuous inflammation of the jaw and gum.
17 Sana’ Shehadeh: suffers from continuous inflammation of the jaw and gum and from weight loss.
18 Ibtisam Issawi: suffers from continuous inflammation of the jaw and gum and from weight loss.
19 Ireena Sarahna: suffers from continuous inflammation of the jaw and gum and from weight loss.
20 Rima Daraghmeh: suffers from continuous inflammation of the jaw and gum and from weight loss.
The Zionist entity imprisons Palestinian mothers, sisters and daughters, tortures them to force their relatives to surrender themselves to the Israeli occupation army or to force their imprisoned relatives into confessing what they didn’t do. Fathiya Swees, 57 year old mother, was detained on 19.07.2010. Her sister Ikhlas, the wife of a prisoner, was also summoned for interrogation. Upon her release on 01.08.2010, Swees talked about being tortured, prevented from sleeping and forced to stand for long hours despite her bad health. She was threatened with the detention of all her sisters if she didn’t provide information. During the First Intifada and Al-Aqsa Intifada, houses were often raided by the Israeli occupation army and mothers and grandmothers were beaten and dragged to detention centres. Palestinian mothers in Israeli jails are deprived of seeing family members as punishment, others were kidnapped and kept hostage while visiting imprisoned family members. More recently, Samha Hijaz was detained while visiting her brother in jail.
Today, 8 Palestinian mothers are held hostages by the Zionist entity:
1 Iman Ghazzawi: held hostage since 08.03.2001, mother of 2 (sentence: 13 years)
2 Ibtisam Issawi: held hostage since 24.10.2001, mother of 6 (sentence: 15 years)
3 Ireena Sarahna: held hostage since 23.05.2002, mother of 2 (sentence: 32 years)
4 Qahira As-Sa’di: held hostage since 30.05.2002, mother of 4 (sentence: 3 times life sentence & 30 years)
5 Latifa Abu Thra’: held hostage since 12.09.2003, mother of 7 (sentence: 25 years, in isolation)
6 Kifah Qatash: held hostage since 01.08.2010, mother of 2 (administrative detention)
7 Hanan Al-Hmouz: held hostage since 11.10.2010, mother of 3 (waiting for trial).
8 Samha Hijaz: held hostage since 06.02.2011, mother of 6 (waiting for trial).
Other Palestinian female prisoners are imprisoned as well as other family members, such as their husbands or their brothers, but are not allowed to visit them. The Israeli prison authority refuses to allow Palestinian female prisoners to visit their imprisoned husbands, despite the existence of an Israeli law which permits family visits within jails once every 6 months. Palestinian female prisoners report that while they are denied such rights, Israeli criminal prisoners are allowed family visits at least once every 3 months. Israeli prison authority uses the right to family visitation to blackmail Palestinian prisoners and as form of punishment. Linan Abu Ghalmeh asked to be removed to the same section as her sister Taghreed who was also held hostage in the same Israeli prison, but the Israeli prison authority refused her request despite Linan’s 20 day hunger strike.
At least 10 Palestinian female prisoners are held captive in Israeli jails as well as other family members:
1 Ireena Sarahna (sentence: 32 years) and her husband Ibrahim Sarahna (sentence: 6 life sentences), they have 2 children.
2 Ahlam At-Tamimi (sentence: 16 life sentences and 20 years) and her husband Nizar At-Tamimi (sentence: 1 life sentence).
3 Iman Ghazzawi (sentence: 13 years) and her husband Shahir ‘Asha (sentence: 20 years), they have 2 children.
4 Nili As-Safadi and her husband ‘Ubada Bilal (sentence: 10 years and 6 months) and brother Hasan (administrative detention).
5 Fatin As-Saadi (sentence: 4 years) and her brother Shafi’ As-Saadi (sentence: 4 and half years).
6 Abeer Odeh and her 3 brothers: Siddiq in Ramleh prison hospital, Jasir and Saa’di.
7 ‘Aisheh Ghneimat and her brother Anas (sentence: 2 years).
8 Shireen Al-‘Isawi and her 4 brothers.
9 Samha Hijaz and her 2 brothers: Yasir (sentence: 1 life sentence & 10 years), Hisham (sentence: 10 life sentences).
10 Ramia Abu Samra and her husband (sentence: 30 years).
Stories of the suffering of Palestinian female prisoners, the brutal method of their detention, the physical and psychological torture during interrogation and the inhumane treatment they receive at the hands of both Israeli jailors and Israeli criminal prisoners rarely make the headlines or even get mentioned outside occupied Palestine. Mostly, it is sites concerned with Palestinian prisoner issues that report such abuses and illegal detentions and follow them up. One example is Palestinian female lawyer Shireen Al-’Isawi from occupied Jerusalem who was detained on 21.04.2010. Palestinian prisoner committees say that Al-‘Isawi’s arrest is a pure act of revenge and punishment because of her activity in defending Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israeli detention. She works for the DCI (Defence for Children International / Palestine Section) which is a child rights organization, and she is specialized in following up cases of child detainees. She is also responsible for the cases of some Palestinian prisoner leaders and the files of Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails. But despite lack of evidence and the inability of the intelligence to force her into confessing to what she didn’t do, the Israeli prison authority still refuses to release Al-‘Isawi. In July 2010, it was reported that Al-‘Isawi was attacked in her cell by Israeli criminal prisoners while Israeli prison forces stood watching. At the moment she is in solitary confinement and waiting her trial.
After her release, former Palestinian prisoner Raja’ Al-Ghoul described her captivity in Israeli dungeons. She was kidnapped in the middle of the night from her home, was handcuffed and taken to Jalameh prison. Al-Ghoul was made to sit on a chair for a whole day with her hands cuffed behind her and was threatened with torture and the arrest of her husband unless she admits to their claims, which she refused. During the 25 days of interrogation she refused food and only drank water, and on the last day of interrogation she was placed in a very cold room, with one stone bed and a very stinky mattress. Al-Ghoul was told by the interrogators that she is to spend her detention time in that cold cell as punishment for not confessing. When she still refused to confess, Al-Ghoul was transferred to a cell of Israeli criminal prisoners where she continued her strike and refused to take her heart medicine. Upon the deterioration of her health, the Israeli prison authority was forced to transfer her to section 11 of the Tal Mond prison (for political prisoners). Al-Ghoul further described the suffering of Palestinian female prisoners when transported to court for a hearing or to a hospital. Palestinian prisoners are transported at 3 am and sometimes the transport can last hours, even days. The prisoners are often mistreated on the way by Israeli special forces which punish them in all ways possible such as withholding food, water for long periods of time, beating the prisoners and insulting them. Then before the court session begins, prisoners are locked up in cold small cells without any food or water, and after the short session which often lasts no longer than 15 minutes, all prisoners are gathered in a cell till 7 pm when the return journey begins.
Abeer Odeh from Tulkarim was kidnapped on 22.04.2006 and detained for 28 months, followed by administrative detention for 9 months. She was released early July 2009 and on 09.07.2009, while on her way to Tulkarim, Abeer was stopped at I’nab Israeli military checkpoint, pulled out of the car, searched and kidnapped at gun point. She is now in isolation behind Israeli bars.
Sanabil Breek from Nablus was taken to a military court and was left hand- and foot-cuffed in a hot court cell from 8 am till 4 pm without water or food.
Currently, there are 36 Palestinian female prisoners held hostages in Israeli dungeons:
1 Amna Jawad Ali Muna, from Jerusalem, detained since 20.01.2001 (sentence: 1 life sentence)
2 Abeer Isa Atef Amro, from Hebron, detained since 20.01.2001 (sentence: 16 years)
3 Iman Mohammad Hasan Ghazzawi, from Tulkarim, detained since 08.03.2001, mother of 2 (sentence: 18 years)
4 Ahlam Aref Shihadeh At-Tamimi, from Ramallah, detained since 14.09.2001 (16 life sentence and 6 years)
5 Ibtisam Abdel-Hafith Faiz Issawi, from Jabal Al-Mukabbir (West Sawahreh), detained since 24.10.2001, mother of 6 (sentence: 15 years)
6 Lina Ahmad Saleh Jarbuni, from Hebron, detained since 18.04.2002 (sentence: 17 years)
7 Sana’ Mohammad Hussein Shehadeh, from Qalandia, detained since 25.05.2002 (sentence: 3 life sentences & 31 years)
8 Ireena Pauli Shuk Sarahna, from Dheisheh RC, detained since 23.05.2002, mother of 2 (sentence: 32 years)
9 Qahira Said Ali As-Sa’di, from Jenin, detained since 30.05.2002, mother of 4 (sentence: 3 times life sentence and 30 years)
10 Du’a’ Ziad Jamil Al-Jayyousi, from Tulkarim, detained since 06.06.2002 (sentence: 3 times life sentence and 30 years, in isolation)
11 Latifa Mohammad Mahmoud Abu Thra’, from Nablus, detained since 12.09.2003, mother of 7 (sentence: 25 years, in isolation)
12 Rima Riyad Hasan Daraghmeh, from Jenin, detained since 28.07.2004 (sentence: 25 years)
13 Amal Fayez Mahmoud Jum’a, from ‘Askar RC, detained since 05.09.2004 (sentence: 11 years)
14 Mariam Salem Suleiman Tarabeen, from Jericho, detained since 24.01.2005 (sentence: 8 years and 6 months)
15 Wafa’ Samir Al-Bis, from Gaza, detained since 20.05.2005 (sentence: 12 years)
16 Wurud Maher Qasim, from At-Tira, detained since 10.04.2006 (sentence: 6 years)
17 Futna Mustafa Khalil Abu Al-Aish, from Nablus, detained since 21.07.2006 (sentence: 15 years)
18 Fatin Bassam Shafi’ Al-Saadi, from Jenin, detained since 08.05.2008 (sentence: 4 years)
19 Sanabil Nabigh Sleiman Breek, from Nablus, detained since 22.09.2008 (sentence: 40 months)
20 Randa Mohammad Yousif Shahateet, from Hebron, detained since 03.01.2009 (sentence: 4 years and 2 months)
21 Khadija Kayed Taha Abu Ayyash, from Nazareth, detained since 22.01.2009 (sentence: 3 years)
22 Hana’ Yahya Saber Ash-Shalabi, from Jenin, detained since 14.03.2009 (sentence: 3 times consecutive administrative detention)
23 Abeer Mahmoud Hassan Odeh, from Tulkarim, detained since 09.07.2009 (waiting for trial, in isolation)
24 ‘Aisha Mohammad I‘bayyat, from Bethlehem, detained since 13.08.2009 (sentence: 3 years)
25 Nisreen Atef Hassan Abu Zeinah, from Tulkarim, detained since 18.08.2009 (sentence: 2 years & 10 months)
26 Su’ad Ahmad Abdel-Ra’ouf Nazzal, from Qalqilya, detained since 22.08.2009 (sentence: 2 years & 4 months)
27 ‘Aisha Faiz Ibrahim Ghneimat, from Surif, Hebron, detained since 09.02.2009 (sentence: 3 years)
28 Sumoud Yaser Hasan Karajeh, from Ramallah, detained since 25.10.2009 (waiting for trial)
29 Nili Zahi As’ad As-Safadi, from Nablus, detained since 11.11.2009 (sentence: 20 months)
30 Shireen Tariq Al-‘Isawi, from Jerusalem, detained since 21.04.10, 2010 (waiting for trial, in isolation)
31 Linan Yousif Abu Ghalmeh, from Beit Furiq, Nablus, detained since 15.07.2010 (sentence: 2 consecutive administrative detention)
32 Kifah ‘Awni Othman Qatash, from Ramallah, detained since 01.08.2010, mother of 2 (sentence: 2 times consecutive administrative detention)
33 Ramia Ratib Hasan Abu Samara, from Yata, Hebron, detained since 16.12.2010 (waiting for trial)
34 Alia Mohammad Yahia Al-Ja’bari, from Hebron, detained since 14.02.2011 (waiting for trial)
35 Hanan Ahmad Ali Al-Hmouz, from Bethlehem, detained since 11.10.2010 mother of 3 (waiting for trial)
36 Samha Abdel Qadir Ibrahim Hijaz, from Almazra’a Al-Sharqiyah, Ramallah, detained since 06.02.2011, mother of 6 (waiting for trial)
In addition to Palestinian female prisoner in Israeli jails, the Zionist entity imprisons the bodies of 7 Palestinian female martyrs:
1 Dalal Said Mohammad Al-Mughrabi, killed on 11.03.1978
2 Darin Abu Eisheh, from Jenin, killed on 17.02.2002
3 Zeinab Isa Abu Aalim, from Askar refugee camp, Nablus, killed on 22.04.2004
4 Hanadi Tayseer Abdel Malik, from Jenin, killed on 04.10.2003
5 Wafa‘ Ali Khalil Idris, from Al-‘Am’ari refugee camp, Ramallah, killed 21.01.2002
6 Ayat Mohammad Lutif Al-Akhras, from Dheisheh refugee camp, Bethlehem, killed on 29.03.2002
7 Hiba Azim Daraghmeh, from Toubas, killed on 19.05.2003