A guide to Palestinian women suffering in Israeli prisons
Director for the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, Riyad Al-Ashqar, explains in details the suffering that Palestinian women experience in Israeli occupation prisons.
The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies confirmed that the Israeli occupation authorities and their prison administration escalated the abuse and repressive measures against Palestinian women prisoners in an attempt to deplete their steadfastness and break their will.
The center mentioned that the women prisoners are subjected to organized repression and are deprived of all their rights, in conjunction with the continuation of the occupation policy of storming cells to disturb prisoners and violate their privacy by installing surveillance cameras in corridors.
Riyad al-Ashqar, director of the center, considered that the attack on the women prisoners’ representatives, Marah Bakir and Shorouq Dwaiyat, in solitary confinement is a dangerous precedent.
Al-Ashqar said these measures may be a prelude to more repression and abuse against women prisoners, as the Prison Administration has never isolated women prisoners’ representatives.
The struggle in numbers
Since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September 2000, the occupation has arrested about 2,500 women and girls, 34 of whom are still in the occupation’s prisons, under harsh and inhumane conditions.
The occupation has always arrested Palestinian women, but the phenomenon increased during the second Intifada in 2000 under various pretexts.
Israelis arrested Palestinian women to blackmail their relatives into surrendering themselves, and to pressure detainees to confess information.
Between 10 to 15 women and girls are arrested for hours or days by the occupation every month, revealed Al-Ashqar. Some of the arrested are transferred to "Hasharon Prison" for interrogation in harsh conditions, while others have been sentenced to prison for many years.
The last Palestinian women detainee was Saadia Salem Faraj Allah, 65, from the town of Idna in Al-Khalil.
She was arrested Saturday after she was beaten near the Ibrahimi Mosque on the pretext of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack.
Al-Ashqar pointed out that among the current 19 prisoners, eight prisoners are sentenced to more than 10 years, among which are Shorouq Dwaiyat from Al-Quds and Shatila Abu Ayad, who have the longest prison sentence - 16 years.
Two women prisoners, Khitam Al-Saafin from Ramallah and Shorouq Al-Badan from Beit Lahm, are under administrative detention without charges.
Prisoner Maysoon Musa Al-Jabali from Beit Lahm is considered the longest-serving woman prisoner after ex-detainee Amal Taqatqa was liberated in early December. She has been detained since June 2015 and is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Geographical distribution of prisoners
Regarding the geographical distribution of women prisoners, 15 prisoners are from Al-Quds, five from Ramallah, four from territories occupied in 1948, four from Al-Khalil, three from Beit Lahm, two from Jenin, and one from Tulkarm.
Five prisoners suffer from various diseases and do not receive appropriate treatment, the most difficult of them is the case of prisoner Israa Jaabis.
Prison Administration Procrastinating
The Israeli occupation Prisons Administration continues to delay installing a public telephone in the women prisoners’ sections, and prevents them from communicating with their families.
The prisoners have been denied visits for more than a year and a half.
The administration practices medical negligence against prisoners and refuses to provide a specialized gynecologist in the prison clinic. It also forbids entering cultural or scientific books, as well as handicrafts.
Deprived of basic human rights
Palestinian women prisoners suffer from a severe shortage of blankets, winter clothes and heating equipment, as the Prisons Administration deprives them of purchasing heating devices and blankets.
The administration deliberately humiliates women prisoners by presenting them to the courts at frequent intervals and unjustifiably postponing their trials dozens of times.
The women prisoners also suffer from continuous incursions carried out by male occupation police officers. They demanded women officers in order to preserve their privacy.
The Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies called on all institutions that celebrate women's rights and concerned organizations to urgently intervene to put an end to the aggravating suffering of women prisoners and stop Israeli crimes against them.
Earlier, the Palestinian Prisoners' Media Office said that tensions are still flaring in Israeli occupation prisons in light of the systematic assaults launched by the Prison Service on women prisoners, noting that the prisoners donned their prison uniforms to express their readiness for any developments.