Palestinian Jerusalemite teacher Khadija Khweis remains imprisoned

Palestinian Jerusalemite teacher Khadija Khweis remains behind bars despite a decision to release her on bail, after the Israeli occupation prosecution appealed the decision for her release.

She was seized by Israeli forces on Wednesday, 5 September after being summoned to a police station in Jerusalem and questioned about her involvement in activism to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque, extending her detention for continued interrogation.

On Sunday, 10 September, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered her released in exchange for 5,000 NIS bail (approximately $1400 USD). The Israeli prosecution objected to her release and appealed the decision, which in turn postponed her release and turned the case over to the Jerusalem central court.

Khweis has been arrested several times and has been subject to bans from the ground of Al-Aqsa Mosque and house arrest by the Israeli occupation. She was banned from Jerusalem and from traveling outside occupied Palestine.

She and her family’s national insurance allowance was revoked after her involvement in defending Al-Aqsa Mosque from Israeli settler and military attacks, and was one of a group of Palestinian women attacked by Israeli forces after being denied entry, accused of involvement with the Murabitat, a group of women who gather at Al-Aqsa to protest Israeli control over the occupied holy site. In September 2015, Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon officially banned the Murabitat.

Khweis was last arrested in June 2017 before being ordered to 10 days under house arrest and a 60-day ban from Al-Aqsa Mosque and the old city of Jerusalem, as well as a 180-day ban from entering the West Bank.  She is the mother of five children and married to academic Ibrahim Abu Aliya, who was forcibly removed to the West Bank from Jerusalem.