Female ex-detainees have organised a protest in solidarity with Palestinian women still being held by the Israeli occupation authorities. A number of women were not released as part of the exchange deal agreed between Hamas and Israel, even though it was expected that all women would be included.
The protest rally took place on 22 December in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, near the President Yasser Arafat roundabout (formerly known as the Clock Tower). A number of detainees' family members came out in support of the women.
According to the protestors, the Egyptian Ambassador in Palestine, Yasser Othman, refused to accept a message from Lena Jarbone, a prisoner from Israel; her name was removed by the Netanyahu government from the list of prisoners to be included in the swap. The solidarity group was joined by ex-detainee Amal Juma'ah, despite her deteriorating health; Amal was released during the first phase of the exchange deal in October.
As banners were raised calling for the release of female prisoners by Israel, a representative of those still in jail gave a speech saluting the resistance, and sent a message of thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the exchange.
Israel has refused to release six women prisoners, including Fatima Doabash from Nablus in the northern West Bank, who was arrested recently. The prisoners are: Lina Ahmed Jarbone, who was detained in 2002 and sentenced to 17 years; Rud Maher Qassim, detained in 2006 and sentenced to 6 years; and Khadija Kamel Abu Ayash, detained in 2009 and sentenced for 3 years; all three are from inside the 1948-occupied territory (Israel). The others are Mona Ka'adan, Rania Abu Halaseh, and Fida Abu Sneineh.
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour