Women prisoners update: 16-year-old Manar Shweiki sentenced to six years in Israeli prison

Manar Shweiki

Palestinian child prisoner Manar Shweiki, 16, was sentenced on Sunday, 5 February to six years in Israeli prisons. Detained since 22 December 2015, Manar has spent 14 months in HaSharon prison with 10 more minor girls, among 52 Palestinian women prisoners currently held.

Manar, from Jerusalem, was accused of seeking to carry out a resistance action because Israeli occupation forces found a knife in her school bag as she walked. Manar is the latest Palestinian child prisoner to be sentenced to a lengthy sentence in Israeli prisons; others include Muawiya Alqam, sentenced to six years; Ahmad Manasrah, sentenced to 12 years; and Nurhan Awad, sentenced to 13 years. She is one of over 300 Palestinian children currently imprisoned by the Israeli state.

Malak Salman

The trial of fellow child prisoner Malak Salman, 17, was postponed on Monday, 6 February until 14 February; Malak is accused of attempting to stab Israeli occupation forces at Jerusalem’s Damascus gate.

Randa Shahatit

Meanwhile, on 31 January, imprisoned Palestinian Randa Shahatit suspended her hunger strike on a temporary basis after nine days pending the outcome of her next military court hearing. Shahatit, 29, was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 20 January.

She launched her hunger strike because she is being held in the isolation section of HaSharon prison with “criminal” prisoners rather than with her fellow Palestinian prisoners. Shahatit, a former Palestinian prisoner, was released in 2011 as part of the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange when 17 months remained in her 50-month sentence. She was seized by occupation forces in August as she went to the hospital with her 3-month-old daughter and held for 12 days before being released on bail and under confinement to the area of her village while a secretive military committee determined whether to reimpose her prior sentence – as has happened to dozens of Palestinian prisoners. On 3 January, it was announced that her sentence would not be reimposed and her bail conditions were lifted; arrested only two weeks later, she is now being accused of violating her conditions of bail.

Ansam Shawahneh

Salem military court held a hearing in the case of Palestinian student Ansam Shawahneh, 20, from Qalqilya, on Monday, 6 February; her case was continued until 21 March. Detained since 9 March 2016, she is accused of membership in the Hamas movement and attempting to stab Israeli settlers near the Kedumim illegal settlement. She is a student at An-Najah National University.

Abeer Tamimi

On Sunday, 5 February, Ofer military court ordered Abeer al-Tamimi, 29, of al-Khalil, to 20 months imprisonment with a fine of 6,000 NIS ($1,500 USD). She has been imprisoned since 22 December 2015 and was accused of attempting to stab Israeli occupation forces.

Shatila Abu Ayyad, 24, from Kafr Qasem, will come before a court on 14 February where she is expected to be sentenced to 16 years in Israeli prison. Abu Ayyad, who holds Israeli citizenship, has been imprisoned since 3 April 2016 and accused of attempting to stab Israelis; she is held in HaSharon prison.