Palestinian women prisoners continue struggle, achieve concessions to their demands, lawyer reports

Palestinian women prisoners said that the Israel Prison Service conceded to their demands following their protests, said lawyer Taghreed Jahshan after meeting with Palestinian women prisoners in HaSharon prison on Thursday, 8 June.

Palestinian activist Amna Hamid spoke in Gaza City at an event in solidarity with the Palestinian women prisoners organized by Mohja al-Quds Foundation, emphasizing the importance of continuous international solidarity with the Palestinian women prisoners. “The prisoners’ demands are clearly legitimate. They are rejecting the repressive policy of the occupation against the prisoners. There is no secret of the inhumane violations of the occupation against the prisoners, especially under interrogation and of medical neglect.” She called for international sanctions on the occupation to support the prisoners’ struggle.

Former prisoner Lena Jerbouni, the longest-held woman Palestinian prisoner before her release in April, said that Palestinian women prisoners were committed to achieve their rights and were under attack during Ramadan, a time that is precious to the prisoners. She described the collective experience of the women prisoners in preparing iftar together, saying that the women “work like bees” to distribute roles and tasks to all prisoners, even the minor girls, in preparing the meal to break the fast.

Raafat Hamdouna of the Palestinian Prisoners’ center for Studies said that Palestinian women who are transferred with or near Israeli criminal prisoners are targeted for abuse, insults and attacks. He also noted that Palestinian women prisoners are held in overcrowded sections and rooms and are often prevented from receiving important materials, including textbooks and other materials for studies, from parents and relatives. In addition, the food they receive is very bad and they must often rely almost entirely on the “canteen” (prison store.) He emphasized the long history of Palestinian women in the national liberation struggle, including in the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. “Palestinian women have been subject to arrest and deportation, house arrest and abuse in prisons. They have fought many struggles, protests and open hunger strikes in order to improve the conditions of their lives and livelihoods, and to confront the policies of repression to which they are subject by the occupation,” Hamdouna said.