Palestinian women prisoners hit with high sentences, transferred to HaSharon prison due to fires

damonPalestinian women prisoners held in Damon prison were transferred on the evening of Thursday, 24 November to HaSharon prison after the large fires sweeping the area have neared the area of the prison. The treatment of the 16 women prisoners held in Damon has long been a subject of protest by women transferred there, as well as by male Palestinian prisoners; recently, Samer Issawi and Munther Snobar engaged in a hunger strike demanding the transfer of women held there. Women have repeatedly protested their conditions of confinement, the lack of appropriate facilities and medical care, and the use of the “bosta” that makes trips to and from the military court last up to three days.

helwahamamraAmong those transferred was Palestinian prisoner Hilweh Hamamreh, 26, who was sentenced by the Ofer military court on Wednesday, 23 November to 6 years in Israeli prisons. Hamamreh has been imprisoned for one year, since 8 November 2015; she was severely injured after being shot by Israeli occupation forces near Beitar Illit settlement and accused of attempting to stab a settler guard. Hamamreh was shot multiple times by occupation forces and was held in Hadassah hospital for a month, during which parts of her pancreas, liver, intestines and spleen were removed. During her time in hospital, a group of settlers entered her room and threatened to kill her.

Hamamreh, from the village of Husan near Bethlehem, has repeatedly been denied family visits and has had only one visit with her two-year-old daughter.

shurouqMeanwhile, Shorouq Dwayyat, 19, from Sur Baher in Jerusalem, had her  until 25 December 2016. Dwayyat has been imprisoned since 11 October 2015; she was seriously injured when shot in the hand, chest, and neck by an Israeli settler in Jerusalem. Dwayyat is a student at Bethlehem University; the settler claimed that she attempted to stab him while she notes that she was assaulted by the settler who attempted to grab her headscarf in an act of religious and racial harassment and that she pushed him away before he shot her.

maysoon-musaMaysoun Musa, 22, from the village of Shawawreh east of Bethlehem, was sentenced to 15 years in Israeli prison by the Ofer military court. Musa has been imprisoned since 29 June 2015; she attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint in an anti-occupation operation.

saharnatshehOn Thursday, 24 November, Sahar Natsheh, 43, of Beit Hanina in Jerusalem, was sentenced to three months imprisonment for “incitement” for her posts on Facebook. Natsheh, a prominent local activist known for her participation in protests in defense of Al-Aqsa Mosque and against the Israeli anti-Palestinian ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, already spent over eight months under house arrest in her home. She is one of hundreds of Palestinians targeted for arrest and imprisonment for their social media postings.

There are approximately 60 Palestinian women prisoners held in HaSharon and Damon prisons (now all in HaSharon), including 13 Palestinian minor girls.