The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Torturing innocent children and women

Mohammed Omer, Rafah Today, 8 Aug 2003

Everyone in Palestine tastes the Occupation crimes, this occupation which wasn’t kind to children, women, old men, old women, and youth also, every day. Thousands of crimes I saw at the checkpoints, many immoral crimes which are impossible to describe; yes, hard things, you don’t know what they are doing now against humanity. All over the world I didn’t hear about occupation which jails children and subjects them to all kind of crimes. Today, in Khan Yunis according to Nasser Hospital, the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) killed a Palestinian in the camp. Also, AL Aqsa Martyrs Hospital added that the IDF killed an old man called Rawhi Al Haour (47 years old). He was injured in his belly while he was walking to his house.

The Occupation jails children and women. Did you hear about this new crime that no one from the human rights centers knows about even here in Palestine? I get this information from two women who were in the Israeli prison. There are more than 93 women jailed in the Israeli prison since the beginning of this Intifada, and 7 of these 93 women are girls under 17 years old. Here are their names:

    Asmaa Mahmoud, 16 years old
    Fedaa Ghannam, 14 years old
    Zenab Al Sholi, 14 years old
    Tamara Derbas, 15 years old
    Aisha Abiat, 16 years old
    Sana Amer, 15 years old
    Rabaa Hamil, 14 years old

And I also have most of the names of the other women who are still in the Israeli prison. New babies children were born in the Israeli’s dark prisons!! This was the luck of some babies who were born in the Israeli prison, by such women as Omima Al Aqaa, Samiha Hamadan, Majda Salamh, and Mervat Taha. This woman who gave birth to a baby called Waiel in the Israeli prison, on 8th Feb 2003 in Al Ramalla prison in Israel, suffered and is still suffering with her baby child from many medical problems because of the serious injuries received when they jailed her. The woman is still till this moment trying to let the people hear her voice, but no one hears. But I knew this information from one of the prisoners who was there, and promised to let the people know the truth of what is happening to the women and children in the Israeli prison.

Difficult experiences for all of them in the Israeli prison and in a very difficult time. And this was just a few things I wrote from this woman, and there were still many more crimes which the soldiers committed in the prisons against all these women.

2000 children have been jailed in Israeli prisons. According to the lawyer Hussein Al Shekh on 30th Jul 2003, more than 2000 children were arrested over 3 years, most of the children between the ages 12-17.

The children suffer from all kinds of torturing, as the soldiers don’t allow them their simple and basic needs. For instance, the lawyer interviewed one of the children and asked him what he wants to say. The child, Mohammed Shaker Haboush, is 13 years old and now in Atsioon Prison in Hebron. He said

    “They didn’t allow us to drink water when we needed it, and every day they hit us, and didn’t allow us to have a shower for two months. . . sometimes they exile the one who asks for water and food to a very small room, so this leads all of us not to ask for food or water to avoid this small room. The soldiers also forced me to sign papers, but I don’t know for what. Every day the soldiers hit us and force us to do things that we don’t like. I want to see my father, I want to see my mother, when will I see them, and what did I do for them to put me in this place?!”

If we just look at all these crimes against innocent children. Do the international Human Rights conventions say to do all these things against Palestinian children?! Or protecting child agreements and especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which says we protect civilians in wars?

Many, many conventions which protect children are not working in the Middle East, and why?! Because here we have Israel, this country which did many things and didn’t respect the UNITED NATIONS conventions and especially Law 37 lines A and B which say that it’s not allowed to arrest children and do any things against them. Why did they sign this convention, that’s all, why?! Why don’t they respect these laws or at least respect the countries which created these laws and conventions. We have to look at these conventions, the United Nations conventions, and confirm what Israel is doing now and what they signed in the past. Or does Israel have new laws? If that is so, why didn’t we hear about it?!

Well, I have many things on this subject and went to many sources to get this information. Now, after realizing there are 300 prisons with people jailed months or years, many thousands in Rafah launched a very big demonstration asking the human rights centers and peacemakers to find a quick solution for the prisoners.