Two Jerusalemite women ordered to house arrest; Abu Sharar released after two months imprisonment

Khadija Khweis and Hanadi Halawani. Photo: Handala Center for Prisoners

Two Palestinian Jerusalemite women, Khadija Khweis and Hanadi Halawani, were released by the Israeli occupation on Wednesday, 27 September, ordered to 14 days of house arrest and barred from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque grounds for one month. Both also were forbidden from entering the West Bank or traveling abroad for six months and fined 5000 NIS ($1400 USD).

The two women are both tutors and very involved in campaigns to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque from settler harassment and incursions as well as “security” initiatives of occupation forces to control Palestinian holy sites in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, 26 September, the minor girl Sally Shawwa, 14, from the village of Anata in Jerusalem was released by Israeli occupation forces after being jailed for several days. She was ordered held under house arrest for one week in Beit Hanina and forbidden from returning to Anata during that time. In addition, her family paid bail of 500 NIS ($140 USD). Sally was with her mother on the bus in Shuafat when the bus was stopped by occupation forces who seized the young girl and accused her of threatening to carry out a stabbing. She was held in the Moskobiyeh interrogation center for several days. Her release in and of itself demonstrates the weakness of the charges, as children from Jerusalem charged with attempted stabbings of Israeli occupation soldiers, border guards and settlers have been sentenced to extraordinarily high sentences of 10 years and over.

In addition, on Wednesday evening, 27 September, Sabreen Abu Sharar, 28, a doctor from the village of Dura who is also a U.S. citizen, was released after two months and numerous continued hearings in Israeli military courts. She had previously been imprisoned for 18 months in occupation prisons, where she was elected the representative of women prisoners in Damon prison. After her release, she made plans to travel to the United States and became engaged to marry a Palestinian medical student from Gaza, studying in the U.S. When she sought permission to travel abroad following her release, she was instead seized by occupation forces on 26 July 2017.

There are currently approximately 58 Palestinian women prisoners in Israeli jails, among 6200 total Palestinian prisoners. 10 of these are minor girls, and five are held without charge or trial under administrative detention. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its solidarity with Palestinian women prisoners and urges their immediate release.