Female Palestinian inmates face abuse in Israel prisons

Prisoners are frequently subjected to humiliation and mistreatment, former inmates and activists say

Female Palestinian inmates face abuse in Israel prisons

The Israel Prison Service (IPS) had continued to tighten its grip on Palestinian female prisoners because of their refusal to accept the installation of CCTV cameras in the courtyards of the detention facilities in which they are being held. 

Female captives view the cameras as a violation of their privacy. 

Thirty-four Palestinian female prisoners, including two minors at Israel’s HaSharon Prison, refused to leave their cells for the 60th day in a row Sunday to protest the draconian measures. 

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Authority's Prisoners Commission, said the IPS had also banned female Palestinian inmates from receiving family visits. 

“The Israeli authorities also cut their access to hot water to punish them for protesting the cameras,” he said.

Abu Bakr described such measures as “illegal”, accusing the Israeli prison authorities of practicing a policy of collective punishment against female Palestinian inmates. 

“For the last two months, those detained under Israel’s policy of ‘administrative detention’ have continued to boycott Israeli courts to protest their ongoing detention,” Abu Bakr said. 

“And they plan to escalate their protests further if the Israeli authorities fail to end their administrative detention policy,” he added. 

According to the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO, the Israeli authorities are currently holding 50 women, including eight suffering injuries and two minors. 

Female prisoners are being held mainly at two detention facilities inside Israel: Hasharon and Damun. 

According to the rights NGO, Israel has detained a total of 516 women since 2015, 90 of whom were arrested this year alone. 

Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel has arrested a staggering 10,000 Palestinian women, according to Palestinian figures. 

"I can only imagine what the 34 female prisoners are going through now after two months of refusing to go out to the courtyards," Najwan Ouda, a former Palestinian prisoner, told Anadolu Agency.