The following letter was written by the wounded Palestinian teen, Natalie Shokha, to her family and community. Natalie, 15, is imprisoned in HaSharon prison alongside 11 other minor Palestinian girls.
Natalie, from the village of Rammun near Ramallah, was shot by Israeli occupation soldiers on 28 April, with a live bullet in her back and chest. She was arrested along with another minor Palestinian girl, Tasneem Halabi, near the village of Beit Ur west of Ramallah. Natalie and Tasneem were accused of seeking to stab Israeli occupation soldiers. Tasneem marked her 15th birthday inside HaSharon Prison just two weeks ago.
Natalie’s letter, which highlights the role of the older Palestinian women prisoners in organizing the life of Palestinians inside Israeli prisons (creating a magazine and a cultural committee) as well as the sisterhood between the imprisoned young girls (referred to here as zahrat, “flowers”), follows:
My greetings to all of the generous people of my beloved village, Rammun. My greetings to the council of the village and to everyone who supports its development.
Mother, I am in now in prison a member of the cultural committee. I have also become a member of the magazine. I discuss novels and I am the fourth in reading. 🙁 Thank God at any rate.
Mom, Dad, everyone here is proud of your raising of me. Have your head held high. And I am living in the room with six other girls. We are the twelve flowers (security prisoners who are minor girls). We live together through bad and good times. Mom, please say hello to all and tell them I miss them so much and that I am sorry if I forgot anyone. May God bring us together, united, soon. God, bring us freedom now!
They will not imprison the scent of jasmine in a flower!
The prisoner Natalie Shokha
Natalie and Tasneem are among 59 Palestinian women political prisoners in Israeli jails, and over 350 Palestinian children imprisoned by the Israeli occupation.