The Israeli authorities have arrested more than 15,000 Palestinian women since the beginning of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem in 1967, official statistics revealed on Wednesday.
A report compiled by Abdel Nasser Ferwaneh, of the PLO's Committee for Prisoners' and Freed Prisoners' Affairs, accused the Israeli occupation of escalating attacks against women over the past few years. He revealed that the Israelis have arrested 445 Palestinian women since the start of the Jerusalem Intifada in October 2015, including a number of girls.
Ferwaneh added that dozens of the women were shot and wounded by the Israeli occupation forces before their arrest. Fatemeh Taqatqa, 15, for example, was shot, wounded and arrested, before being pronounced dead in March last year whilst in detention.
"On most occasions, women are arrested from their homes at the dead of night," explained Ferwaneh, "and they are beaten and subjected to harsh treatment and exposed to physical and psychological torture while under arrest."
What's more, he pointed out, Palestinian women inside Israeli jails are frequently denied proper medical treatment and are incarcerated alongside criminals regardless of their age or alleged wrongdoing. The latest Palestinian woman to be arrested by the Israelis, Ferwaneh noted, was Fatemeh Jarrar, 20, from the West Bank city of Jenin, who is a student at Al-Quds Open University.
The PLO official called for all local, regional and international human rights groups to put pressure on the Israeli occupation to release the Palestinian woman, as well as to fund support projects to empower them after their release.
At the moment, there are 63 Palestinian women and girls being held in Israeli jails, including eight university graduates, 10 minors, 20 married mothers and three who are under administrative detention with neither charge nor trial.