The lawyer for Palestinian child prisoner Ahed Tamimi filed a complaint with Israel’s attorney general on 2 April, after Israeli authorities failed to investigate the teenager’s interrogators for sexual harassment.
Lawyer Gaby Lasky stated that an interrogator made inappropriate remarks about Ahed’s external appearance, and harassed her sexually.
Lasky added that this interrogator threatened to arrest members of Ahed’s family if she continued to exercise her right to remain silent during the interrogation.
Ahed was questioned by a group of men, with no women or interrogators specialized in dealing with minors present.
Lasky has demanded twice that the attorney general investigate these incidents, but the office has failed to do so.
“Overbearing and intimidating”
A video of Ahed’s third interrogation on 26 December, which The Daily Beast says it has seen, supports Lasky’s account.
The video reportedly shows the interrogator “flirting in an overbearing and intimidating manner” with Ahed as she remains silent throughout the interrogation.
“You have eyes like an angel,” the interrogator is reported to tell the 16-year-old. The Daily Beast reported that Ahed responds “with a cold stare and silence.”
The interrogator then proceeds to compare Ahed to his sister, who he says spends all his money on clothes. But Ahed remains silent and impassive in the face of attempts to intimidate her into speaking, until they start threatening to hurt her family.
At that point, “Ahed’s expression melts into a look of horror followed by melancholy,” according to The Daily Beast.
An Israeli military court approved a plea deal in March that will see Ahed serve an eight-month prison sentence on top of a fine of nearly $1,500.
The teenager, who turned 17 in an Israeli prison cell in January, was charged with assaulting soldiers and incitement after a video recorded by her mother Nariman circulated online.
The video shows Ahed and her cousin Nour slapping and shoving two heavily armed Israeli soldiers on 15 December, after a soldier had shot and severely injured their 15-year-old cousin Muhammad Fadel Tamimi.
Nour and Nariman were also detained by the army following the videotaped incident and have also been sentenced to prison after accepting plea deals.
Palestinian child Ahmad Adib Abu Rahma, 16, was released from Israeli jail after five months of detention.
As of 5 April, which marks Palestinian Children’s Day, Israel is holding more than 350 Palestinian children in its jails.
The European Union’s office in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah issued a statement expressing “concern” over Israel’s treatment of children in its prisons, but has taken no steps to hold Israel accountable.
The statement calls on Israel to use “proportionate” force when dealing with “crowd control” – an apparent referrence to Israel’s premeditated killings of 27 unarmed protesters since Palestinians began holding Great March of Return rallies in Gaza on 30 March.
Three of those killed have been children.
Undercover agents from Israel’s Border Police stormed the Birzeit University campus in the occupied West Bank disguised as journalists on 7 March, beating and arresting Omar Kiswani, the head of the student council, and shooting others.
Kiswani launched a hunger strike soon after to protest his abusive detention and interrogation at the Russian Compound detention center in Jerusalem, where Israel notoriously tortures Palestinian prisoners.
Kiswani’s interrogation sessions last for 18 continuous hours daily. Kiswani is held in a small cell infested with insects and with a small opening for air.
The university student suspended his hunger strike after approximately two weeks, due to health deterioration caused by the rigorous interrogations. Israel will hold Kiswani for at least eight more days.
“The Islamic Bloc at Birzeit University said that 21 student activists affiliated with the bloc are currently imprisoned in Israeli jails; there are approximately 60 jailed Birzeit students overall,” according to prisoners solidarity group Samidoun.
Sami Janazrah, 45, from the Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron in the West Bank, launched a hunger strike on 26 March to protest the extension of his administrative detention for another four months, without charge or trial.
Janazrah previously undertook a prolonged hunger strike of 70 days in 2016 until he was released, but he was seized again on 7 December of last year.
Musaab al-Hindi, from Nablus, has been on hunger strike for more than three weeks to protest the renewal of his administrative detention.
Israel arrested al-Hindi over a year ago and has held him since then without charge or trial.
Israeli forces transferred the 28-year-old to solitary confinement after he began his strike, and then again to Ashkelon prison in the Naqab region on 31 March. Transferring prisoners is exhausting on their bodies and is often used as form of repression.
Adel Hassan Shehadeh, from Nablus, has been on hunger strike for almost three weeks to protest his torture and interrogation at the al-Jalame detention center. He has been denied access to a lawyer since he was arrested on 7 March.
Suffering from cold
Palestinian legal advocacy group Adalah sent a letter to the Israel Prison Service demanding that “they provide blankets to Palestinians classified as ‘security prisoners,’ refrain from limiting the number of blankets an individual may use, and allow heaters in cells.”
Israel also prohibits prisoners’ families from giving them blankets. Purchasing blankets at the prison’s stores is too expensive for many.
Adalah also demanded that Israeli prison authorities “cancel orders that allow the confiscation of blankets as a punitive measure.”
- violence against children
- European Union
- Ahed Tamimi
- Nour Tamimi
- Nariman Tamimi
- Ahmad Adib Abu Rahma
- Palestinian Children’s Day
- Great March of Return
- Israeli Border Police
- Omar Kiswani
- Sami Janazrah
- hunger strike
- Palestinian political prisoners
- child prisoners
- female prisoners
- Palestinian prisoners
- Musaab al-Hindi
- Adel Hassan Shehadeh
- sexual violence
- The Daily Beast
- Nabi Saleh
- Muhammad Fadel Tamimi
- Gaby Lasky