[Pnews] Arrest and Detention of Palestinian Women and Girls

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Mar 9 11:09:41 EST 2018



07 March 2018

In this International Women’s Day, there are 62 Palestinian females held 
in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 6 female children, 9 
injured prisoners and 3 administrative detainees held without charge or 
trial. In total, 35 are held in HaSharon Prison and 25 are held in Damon 
Prison. Both of these prisons are located inside Israel in contravention 
of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits the transfer of the 
population from the occupied territory to the territory of the occupier.

Since the beginning of the occupation 50 years ago in 1967, over 10,000 
Palestinian women have been arrested and detained by Israeli occupation 
forces. In 2018, Palestinian women and girls are routinely arrested from 
the streets, Israeli military checkpoints, and during violent night 
raids on their homes. Those military incursions are accompanied with the 
presence of Israeli soldiers, intelligence officers, and police dogs, 
during which destruction of household items and property damage takes 
place. They are blindfolded and handcuffed, and they are forcibly taken 
to a military jeep.

R. L., a 17-year-old girl from the city of Jerusalem, was arrested on 5 
February 2016 from the street. During the arrest, the Israeli soldiers 
harshly beat her and transferred to al-Mascobiyya for interrogation. 
Throughout the transfer, she was handcuffed and eyes folded, she was 
also humiliated, insulted and beaten by the soldiers. R. L. did not know 
where she was going neither her parents did. As for interrogations, she 
was interrogated for three days and by three Israeli officers without 
her lawyer, also her hands and legs were cuffed. She was tortured during 
interrogations; put in stress positions, beaten and deprived of sleep 
and food. R. L. was accused of possessing a knife, however, she was 
released on bail after four days of the detention. Her release was 
conditional, so her family had to pay 2500 Skekels (around 750 USD), and 
she was forcibly transferred to another village in Jerusalem but is far 
away from her parent’s house. Then, she was placed under house arrest 
until she was sentenced to 14 months of imprisonment. In fact, since 5 
February 2018 R. L. has been detained in Hasharon prison along with 
another 5 female minors. After an appeal her sentence got reduced to 8 
months instead of 14, so R. L. is expected to get released in October 2018.


Upon being taken to interrogation and detention centers, female 
Palestinian detainees are routinely denied an explanation of their 
rights and the reason for their arrests. Often, they are denied attorney 
access and held for several days under interrogation where they are 
subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The methods of torture and 
ill-treatment used against female Palestinian prisoners cause severe 
physical and mental suffering. Interrogation methods include prolonged 
isolation from the outside world, inhumane detention conditions, 
excessive use of blindfolds and handcuffs, sleep deprivation, denial of 
food and water for extended periods, denial of access to toilets, denial 
of access to showers or change of clothes for days or weeks, being 
forced into stress positions, yelling,  insults and cursing, and sexual 

32-year-old L. Sh. is an administrative detainee, she was arrested in 
October 2017. L. Sh, is a mother of 6 the youngest is currently three 
years old. She was taken from her own house after a raid from the 
Israeli occupation soldiers who strip-searched her before arresting her. 
Since she is under administrative detention that means she does not know 
her charges neither does her lawyer. Still, L. Sh. was interrogated for 
days. She reported:

/“During interrogations, I was surprised when the officer was asking me 
about an operation I’m planning to commit. The officers kept telling me 
that they know about a dream I had which was about me committing an 
operation against them. One time they even told me they know about the 
dream and about the fact that I told my neighbors about it. I didn’t 
know what to say so I asked them to let me sleep maybe I’ll have another 
dream which might have the answers they want.”*[1]* <#_ftn1>/


Palestinian girls and women in Israeli detention centers are deprived of 
their right to education. In fact, female minors are not provided with 
any school classes in detention, which is in direct violation of 
international laws and standards. Thus, being a young Palestinian female 
detained in Israeli prisons it means you will end up being late in 
school, if not eventually dropping out. Currently, there are 6 female 
minors detained, most of them are supposed to do their official high 
school exams at the end of the educational year. However, those young 
girls are not provided with any educational services by the Israeli 
Prison Service (IPS) to prepare them for those exams. Nevertheless, 
since those young girls are detained in the same detention centers as 
adult women, PLC member Khalida Jarar has been preparing those girls for 
the exams.

Khalida Jarar is currently under administrative detention, she also 
announced her total boycott of Israeli military courts. A boycott 
Campaign of military courts was announced by administrative detainees 
last month, the campaign started officially on 1 March 2018, currently, 
there are 450 administrative detainees. Khalida stated,

/“Greetings to all Palestinian women and women from the entire world. On 
this International Women’s Day, I assure the importance of unity among 
women in their national and social struggles against colonization, 
discrimination and social exploitation. 8^th of March is an opportunity 
for unity among us to fight for justice.”*[2]* <#_ftn2>/


Israel is accountable for its actions in the occupied territories, 
including West Bank military checkpoints, particularly the ill-treatment 
of women during arrests and transfers. Article 12 of General 
Recommendation 28 by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination 
against Women on the Core Obligations of States Parties states that:

“Although subject to international law, States primarily exercise 
territorial jurisdiction. The obligations of States parties apply, 
however, without discrimination both to citizens and non-citizens, 
including refugees, asylum-seekers, migrant workers and stateless 
persons, within their territory or effective control, even if not 
situated within the territory. States parties are responsible for all 
their actions affecting human rights, regardless of whether the affected 
persons are in their territory.”[3] <#_ftn3>

In its General Recommendation No. 30 on women in conflict prevention, 
conflict, and post-conflict situations, the Committee confirm the 
aforementioned paragraph, stating, “… the obligations of States parties 
also apply extraterritorially to persons within their effective control, 
even if not situated within their territory, and that States parties are 
responsible for all their actions affecting human rights, regardless of 
whether the affected persons are in their territory”.[4] <#_ftn4>

Testimonies by Palestinian women and girls highlight the brutality of 
the arrest process as well as conditions inside Israeli interrogation, 
detention and prison centers, and even hospitals while in custody. The 
abuse, ill-treatment, and torture of Palestinian women and girls take 
place within the context of the *ongoing occupation of 50 years* and 
annexation of Palestinian lands. In the Convention on the Elimination of 
all Forms of Discrimination against women, States Parties emphasize 
“that the eradication of apartheid, all forms of racism, racial 
discrimination, colonialism, neo-colonialism, aggression, foreign 
occupation and domination and interference in the internal affairs of 
States is essential to the full enjoyment of the rights of men and 
women”.[5] <#_ftn5>


· *The United Nations and all States Parties call upon Israel to 
respect, uphold and strive to surpass the UN Convention against Torture 
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the 
Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against 
women, and UN Security Council Resolution 1325, in regulating the 
treatment of women and girls during interrogation and detention, and 
their lives of women and girls in prison. *

· *States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention call for an end to 
physical and psychological abuse in the hands of soldiers during the 
arrests of Palestinian women and girls and their illegal detention in 
occupying territory, accountability.*

· *States Parties call for an end to the practices of physical and 
psychological torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian women under 
interrogation. *

· *States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of 
Discrimination against women call upon Israel to develop a 
gender-sensitive policy for the treatment of Palestinian female prisoners.*

· *States Parties, women’s organizations, and human rights organizations 
call for the immediate release of female prisoners and an end to their 


[1] <#_ftnref1> Affidavit to Addameer Attorney at Damon Prison on 5 
February 2018 with 32-year-old L. Sh.

[2] <#_ftnref2> Affidavit to Addameer Attorney at HaSharon Prison on 6 
March 2018 with PLC member Khalida Jarar.

[3] <#_ftnref3> UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination 
Against Women (CEDAW), General Recommendation No. 28 on the Core 
Obligations of States Parties under Article 2 of the Convention on the 
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 16 December 
2010, CEDAW/C/GC/28.

[4] <#_ftnref4> UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination 
Against Women (CEDAW), General recommendation No. 30 on women in 
conflict prevention, conflict and post-conflict situations, 1 November 
2013, CEDAW/C/GC/30, paragraph 8.

[5] <#_ftnref5> UN General Assembly, Convention on the Elimination of 
All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, 18 December 1979, United 
Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, p. 13.

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