Endless Sufferings of Palestinian Mothers in Israeli Occupation Prisons

When a prisoner’s due date approaches, she is taken to the hospital with her hands cuffed, legs tied, and surrounded by a number of female soldiers under the pretext of maintaining security.

  • 39 women, including 11 mothers, are held captive in Israeli prisons
    39 women, including 11 mothers, are held captive in Israeli prisons

The total number of prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons is 4,500, including 39 female prisoners, 11 of whom are mothers.

Israeli endless torment in prisons

Throughout the long years of occupation, the Israeli occupation forces arrested dozens of pregnant women, some of whom gave birth to their children inside prison. 

The liberated captive Zakiah Shammout from Haifa, who was arrested in late 1971, is the first Palestinian female prisoner to give birth inside the prisons of the occupation.

She was arrested while she was sixth-month pregnant, and her baby girl was born inside the prison. The last was Fatima Al-Zuq from Gaza, who gave birth to her child in early 2009.

Pregnant mothers deprived of basic needs

Testimonies of female prisoners agree that pregnant women have never received what they are entitled to or need, including permanent and regular examinations and special care to follow up on their conditions and help alleviate the burden of pregnancy.

The Detainees’ Commission clarifies that when a prisoner’s due date approaches, she is taken to the hospital with her hands cuffed, legs tied, and surrounded by several female soldiers under the pretext of maintaining security.

The female captive remains in chains while on the hospital bed and is only untied a few minutes before giving birth, without allowing any family member to attend the operation and check on the mother.

After giving birth, the captive is handcuffed again and returned to prison, without taking into account her health condition and her suffering from the arduous operation.

Fatima Barnawi; first female captive

The liberated prisoner Fatima Barnawi is the first female captive. She was arrested on October 14, 1967, and spent 10 years in the occupation prisons.

Lina al-Jarbouni; longest-serving female prisoner

As for the longest-serving female prisoner, she is the liberated captive Lina al-Jarbouni who spent 15 consecutive years in prison before being released in April of 2017.

Figures provided by the Detainees’ Affairs Commission indicate that the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested more than 17,000 Palestinian women since 1967, including underage girls, students, and mothers, as well as sick, wounded, and pregnant women, without taking into account their privacy and special needs.