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International Women's Day: 43 Palestinian women held in Israel jails

March 8, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Israeli security forces take Naide Salah, who is the sister of 1948 Palestine Islamic Movement Leader Raed Salah, into custody alongside 4 Palestinian women at Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem on January 28, 2020 [Jerusalem Islamic Waqf/Handout – Anadolu Agency]

A statement marking International Women’s Day by the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said there are 43 Palestinian women held in Israeli jails, Palestine Information Center reported.

Head of the commission’s studies and documentation unit Abed al-Naser Farwana said that the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested over 16,000 Palestinian women since 1967.

Farwana said that the brutal methods used by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian men during arrests are no different from those used against women.

Arrests are aimed at intimidating Palestinian women and limiting their influence, he said, adding that sometimes women are detained to pressure male relatives to confess to charges brought against them.

Farwana noted that women in Israeli jails are subjected to severe interrogation, physical and psychological torture, abuse, oppression and deliberate medical neglect with no regard to their gender and special needs.

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Arrested on 14 October 1967, Fatima Bernawi was the first Palestinian woman to be arrested by Israeli occupation forces. She was sentenced to life imprisonment over an alleged bombing attempt.

Farwana said that 128 Palestinian women were arrested by Israeli occupation forces in 2019, adding that 29 Palestinian women have been arrested since the beginning of 2020.

Israeli occupation authorities are holding 43 Palestinian women in their prisons, 16 of whom are mothers and four are under administrative detention.

Amal Taqatqa from Beit Fajjar town in Bethlehem is the longest serving Palestinian woman in Israeli jails who is serving a seven-year sentence. She was arrested in December 2014.

Hanaa Shalabi from Jenin had the longest hunger strike among Palestinian women detainees. It lasted for 44 days before she was released later and expelled to the Gaza Strip in April 2012.

“The world celebrates women on 8 March every year in appreciation of their struggles and sacrifices and in honor of their different roles in life but ignores Palestinian women and their aggravating suffering under Israeli occupation, especially women in Israeli prisons,” Farwana said.

He called on all human rights institutions concerned with women to exert more efforts to save Palestinian women in Israeli jails, talk about their suffering and what they are exposed to, and pressure for their freedom.

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