• Nablus

  • Sunday, November 26, 2023 at 6:22 AM
    Last Update : Monday, November 27, 2023 at 2:15 PM

Female Prisoners Freed from Israeli Jails Speak of “Guantanamo-like” Conditions

(AWP) - Two young Palestinian women freed from Israeli jails on Friday as part of a swap deal that brought a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip said that they, and other imprisoned women like them, had endured “highly complicated circumstances”.

Israel released 39 Palestinians – 24 women and 15 young men—who had languished in Israeli prisons for years, although they were minors at the time of arrest. In return, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) freed 24 people taken hostage in the Gaza Strip, including Israelis and nationals from Thailand and the Philippines.

The deal took place within the framework of a truce that has paused 48 days of fierce fighting in the battered Gaza Strip, where 15,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 35,000 others wounded.
Nour al-Tahir, a young woman who did time in al-Damon prison, said the conditions of female captives are highly complicated.

“There was a campaign of constant aggression practiced against the captives. All of their rights were taken away from them. I cannot say anything except that the conditions there are very tragic, and no human being can endure them,” she explained.

Nour, who was detained in September, added that the Israeli prison authorities had declined to notify any of the female detainees that they would be released soon.

“This created tough psychological conditions, as there was zero information about the course of the swap deal,” she said.

The young Palestinian woman said she could not believe she was now in her home town with her family, after having had to wait each morning for someone to open her cell and pass in her allotted daily needs.

“We left behind many young girls in jail. Hopefully, they will win their freedom soon. The resistance will keep standing up for these women until they are freed,” said Nour, as she stood in a celebratory scene at the Martyrs’ Square roundabout in Nablus.

Her fellow freed captive, Asil al-Titi, described the Israeli jails as “Guantanamo,” in reference to the detention camp built by the United States in Cuba, where it placed the captured operatives of the al-Qaeda network after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The U.S. shut down most of the ill-reputed detention camp wards, and moved the majority of inmates elsewhere under foreign and domestic pressure.

“We lived in tragic conditions, where the captives were in solitary confinement and were beaten,” Asil said in statements to Arab World Press (AWP).

She spent one year inside an Israeli prison, and left it without having been charged or tried.

“There was no TV, radio, or anything. They forced us to live under very hard circumstances. We knew nothing at all outside the fences of the prison. We lived only with the walls of our cells, totally isolated from the world. We were not allowed out except for the lavatory and for a period of 15 minutes only every day,” she recounted.