On October 11, 2015, Palestinian mother, educator and social worker Israa Ja’abis was returning to her home in Jerusalem. However, an electrical failure in her car’s airbag caused a fire as she approached the illegal Israeli occupation’s Al-Z’ayyem checkpoint.
In desperation, Israa got out of the car to get rid of the fire. Instead of receiving help, Israa had a gun pointed at her face by an Israeli soldier and was ordered to drop the “knife,” but she was not carrying any weapon. Another soldier ordered her to be shot.
The ambulance arrived 15 minutes later, after Israa had remained lying on the ground near the vehicle, despite quick access to medical services by Israeli occupation forces at the checkpoint. Severely injured, the educator suffered first, second and third degree burns on more than 60% of her body, had eight fingers amputated and her face was partially disfigured.
The car accident resulted in an eleven-year prison sentence and a fine of 50,000 NIS ($15,624 USD), as well as severely limiting Israa’s mobility and health. Her injuries were substantially exacerbated by a lack of sufficient medical care and ongoing support. The Palestinian, now 37, was accused of having premeditated the explosion in her car near the checkpoint, an allegation she denied.
Israa has been deprived of liberty since 2015. She does not receive adequate medical treatment for her injuries and has been denied the latest requests to visit from her only son Mutasem, now 12 years old. Israa needs to undergo at least eight surgeries, including facial reconstruction and skin grafting around the right eye. She must rely on her fellow Palestinian women prisoners for physical and health support, even as she works to develop her skills and create crafts or art for her beloved son.
Israa Ja’abis is suffering from multiple forms of violence, enforced social isolation and humiliation inside the Zionist occupation prison.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls on all supporters of Palestine to take a stand and support Israa Ja’abis in her fight for freedom and proper medical treatment!
Join the #SaveIsraa campaign and share her story on social media. Palestinians and supporters of justice around the world are campaigning for Israa by sharing her pictures, story and demands for her freedom with the hashtag #SaveIsraa. Her family and loved ones continue to speak out to demand the return of their beloved family member and that she receive the medical care and rehabilitative therapy she needs and is currently being denied by the Israeli occupation.