RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Taken away from their children, dozens of Palestinian women are suffering abuse in Israeli prisons, according to Palestinian activists.
In a recent report, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said Israeli authorities are holding 51 women, including nine injured females and two minors.
According to the NGO, Israel has detained 516 women since 2015, of whom 90 women have been arrested since the beginning of this year.
Last month, Palestinian female journalist Lama Khater was arrested in an Israeli raid on her home in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“Dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded and raided our house before arresting her in front of our children,” her husband Hazem Fakhori told Anadolu Agency.
A mother of five, Khater is a Palestinian activist, who writes a series of articles in a number of Palestinian dailies.
“We have lost a big part since she was arrested,” Fakhori said. “We are missing her terribly; she is not only a mother of our children but is also a friend.”
Fakhori accused Israeli soldiers of abusing his wife, citing that soldiers have kept shouting at her during detention.
“She was transferred several times to a doctor, who only gave her some painkillers before sending her back for interrogation,” he said.
“Lama’s place is among her family and her kids who need her and miss her,” he said, using the first name of his wife.
After 34 days of interrogation, Khater was sent to prison waiting for her trail, which will be held on October 10.
According to Addameer, Israel had arrested 10,000 Palestinian women since the 1967 Middle East war.
There are approximately 6,500 Palestinians currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to Palestinian figures.
Another painful story is the case of Israa Jaabis, a Palestinian woman who was disfigured by an Israeli attack on her car and left to suffer in Israel’s Hasharon prison.
“Jaabis urgently needs to undergo cosmetic surgeries on her hands, face, ears, and teeth,” Ra’afat Hamdoneh, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, said.
Jaabis was detained by Israeli forces in October 2015 when her car exploded as a result of the explosion of a cooking gas cylinder she was transporting, leaving her with severe burns.
Israel authorities accused her of purposefully attempting to blow up her car and sentenced her to 11 years in jail on charges of attempted murder.
According to Hamdoneh, Jaabis’ fingers were amputated and she breathes mostly through her mouth due to a gaping hole in her nose.
“She also suffers from a nervous breakdown, shock and severe psychological problems aggravated by her imprisonment,” he said.
Sahar Francis, director of Addameer, said Israeli soldiers abuse Palestinian women from the first moment of their detention.
“Torture and abuse start from the first moment of detention and continue during interrogation,” Francis told Anadolu Agency.
She described interrogation as the “most violent part” of the detention.
“Prisoners are not only subjected to physical torture — such as being tied and beaten – but are also targeted because of their gender,” she said.