Israeli Authorities Imprison Palestinian Women Even After Their Death

Israeli occupation forces have arrested more than 10,000 Palestinian women of various backgrounds and ages since 1967.

720 Palestinian women were arrested during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, 102 of them are still detained to this date.

By Iqbal Tamimi

First published 18 June 2008

Arresting mothers, wives and sisters of wanted persons or detainees is one form of collective punishment, and it is aimed at forcing Palestinian men to confess or surrender under pressure. In many incidents Palestinian women were threatened in prisons to detain their children in order to force the mothers to cooperate. A report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (April 2008) reported 6 cases of Israeli forces threatening Palestinian prisoners to detain their family members this year. There are documented reports of detaining members of families of Palestinian prisoners without any valid legal reason to do so. This report has been submitted to the Knesset. The president of the Israeli International security service (Shin Bet) confirmed that one incident at least was confirmed by the Investigation Unit during the hearing of the case.

Some of the detained women have husbands or brothers held in other prisons too, but the administration of prisons in Israel refuses to grant them to exchange visits with their family members.

The Ministry of Prisoners confirmed in its reports that all women arrested were subjected to psychological or physical torture and in some cases to both. Some were sexually harassed too. Different female prisoners were subjected to different degrees and methods of torture. The women were kept in cells and chambers of investigations for several months, and then transferred to the dark prisons to live the hard conditions; some were freed without any compensation or even an apology.

102 female Palestinian prisoners are still detained since the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

98 of those women are from the Northern provinces of Palestine and Jerusalem, 4 are from the southern provinces. This includes 4 under-age female prisoners.

Dr.Mariam Saleh Deputy of the Palestinian legislative Council and Minister of Women Affairs was one of those detained women.

51 of those prisoners have been sentenced, some have been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment, others are sentenced several lifetime sentences. 45 of them are have suspended sentences, 6 are detained in administrative detention centres. 4 gave birth in prison without adequate medical or health care, deprived of being accompanied by any relatives during delivery. Those mothers are:

Mervat Taha, Manal Ghanem, Samar Subaih and Fatima Alziq. Other mothers delivered their babies in similar conditions before the Intifada.

The suffering of Palestinian women inside Israeli prisons has increased; the conditions of the prisoners is deteriorating continuously in a dangerous way, besides their subjection to repressive campaigns by the Israeli prisons department without any regard to their gender special needs. Such treatment has affected their mental health severely, especially for those who were kept in solitary isolation for periods extending from months to years.


Solitary confinement after death too

The punishment of detention of Palestinian women is not practiced only against living people, the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested several Palestinian women after their martyrdom, and as a punishment for them, their bodies are imprisoned in refrigerators, or in numbered mass graves, refusing to let go of their bodies, or handing them to their families for proper burial. Some of the names of the dead women prisoners detained after death are:

Ayat Alakhras

Dalal Almughrabi

Dareen Abu Eshah

Wafaa Edrees

Hanadi Jaradat

Hiba Daraghme

Israel is the only occupation country in the world that punishes people even after their death, contradicting all ethical universal norms and laws. Especially since they know how important it is to bury the dead body of a Muslim from a religious point of view.


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