Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter February 2016

As reported in our last newsletter of December 2015, the many arrests of Palestinians continue, as are the killings by both the Israeli security forces and armed Israeli citizens. At times the soldiers ‘merely’ injure the prisoners, and the Israeli media whitewash the killings, describing them as ‘neutralising’.

In Hasharon and Damon prisons there are currently four minors and five adult female prisoners who have been injured by the soldiers and then taken to hospital. While in hospital they were cuffed hand and foot and at least in one case had both their hands and their feet shackled to the bed. They were all closely monitored by prison wardens during their hospitalisation and their families were prevented from visiting them. In some cases a judge was brought to hospital where ‘hearings’ on extending of remand were held.

It is worth noting that there are no major common social or personal characteristics of the prisoners/detainees available. Among the current prisoners/detainees there is a considerable age span from a 12 year old girl to a 62 year old woman. Some women are single, others are married and some have children, they include housewives, a school principal, and the director of a charity organization, university and school students, professionals and employees in workplaces such as hairdressing salons and sewing workshops.

Since the beginning of December 2015, a new humiliating practice has been introduced with prisoners being brought to meet lawyers handcuffed and with feet chained. Then the handcuffs are removed for the duration of the interviews, while the shackles are kept on their feet.

The ‘Posta’ transportation conditions, about which we have reported countless times, continue to be difficult. Despite many complaints by the prisoners, there has been no improvement in the transportation conditions, which can be considered to be a form of torture. Moreover, transportation conditions have greatly deteriorated recently. In the ‘Posta’ cells adjacent to the female prisoners’ cells there are male criminal prisoners who harass the women. Where criminal female prisoners share cells with political prisoners, the criminal prisoners constitute a real threat to the political prisoners.

The Damon prison detainees are transported to court via the Hasharon prison a day before the court hearing and are returned to Damon the following day. However, if the court hearing takes place on a Sunday, they are already moved to Hasharon on the preceding Thursday and if the hearing takes place on Thursday, they are returned to Hasharon that night and moved back to Damon only on Sunday. This means that they are deprived of any kind of routine, and this together with the difficult transportation conditions and the move from prison to prison lead many of the women to want to give up attending their own trials – something about which they do not always have a choice.

Among the current prisoners/detainees there are those resident in East Jerusalem or its surrounding villages occupied in 1967. These women hold Israeli residence permits and therefore when they arrested in East Jerusalem or its surrounding villages their hearings are held in the Jerusalem District Court. In terms of the charges and legal proceedings there is no difference between these civil court and the military courts Ofer and Salem.

Damon Prison (Carmel Mountain)

In December 2015 a female wing was opened in Damon Prison and currently (February 2016) it holds 24 Palestinian women, mostly detainees (whose trials have not yet ended), including two administrative detainees.

The wing has two rooms, one large room holding 18 beds but only one toilet cubicle, and the other holding eight beds and one toilet cubicle.

CCTV cameras are constantly operated in the yard preventing the prisoners from using the yard for exercise.

The prison authorities allow the prisoners to purchase fan heaters in the canteen but to date only one fan heater has been permitted for each of the two rooms.

In response to a campaign by the prisoners the prison authorities have recognised Sabrin Abu-Sharar as the Damon prisoners’ spokeswoman.

Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond)

At the time of writing Hasharon Prison holds 32 female Palestinian prisoners/detainees, including 12 minors.

After a long campaign by WOFPP’s legal advisor Adv. Taghreed Jahshan, the prison authorities approved the purchase of fan heaters by the prisoners at the beginning of January 2016. The purchase had to be made in the prison canteen and the purchase of fan heaters and blankets has been funded by a donation.

All minor prisoners/detainees are held in Hasharon Prison, some of them as mentioned above, were injured by IDF soldiers.

Since the recent rise in the number of imprisoned minors, the WOFPP legal advisor together with the prisoners’ spokesperson in Hasharon, Lina Jarbuni demanded that the prison authorities provide regular schooling for all minor prisoners. Most of them are school students and some are in their final year and have to prepare for their Taujihi (final) exams. Recently, the prison authorities responded positively and agreed to provide a special prison-appointed teacher, following which twice-weekly day studies have begun.

Several prisoners currently held in Hasharon Prison were injured while being arrested. Most were seriously injured and were hospitalised in Jerusalem. We believe the medical care they received was insufficient as they were released to prison before receiving treatment adequate for their recovery. These cases include Asra’a Ja’abis, whose car caught fire as she was returning from ‘Azarieh (near Jerusalem). Asra’a suffered second and third degree burns, and was in Hadassah hospital prior to being transferred to Hasharon Prison. Her condition is serious and we believe her place is in hospital, at least for some time, and not in prison. The condition of another prisoner, ‘Abla El‘Adam, shot in the head by the soldiers and seriously injured, is very grave.
They are periodically taken back to hospital for treatment. It is worth noting that transportation from prison to hospital for medical treatment causes much suffering, especially in light of the harsh transportation conditions as detailed above.

The prisoner ‘Alia El ‘Abassi has volunteered to assist the injured women.

Some WOFPP members try to attend and observe court proceedings as part of the voluntary work of the organisation. Court attendance enables us to keep up to date, converse with family members, keep in touch with them and help them as much as we can.

Please note: It is important to state that we cannot vouch for the current precise number of prisoners/detainees as numbers change daily.


WOFPP needs donations to enable us to continue frequent lawyer's visits in the prisons.

For donations to WOFPP:
Bank account:
Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)
Account number: 471067
Branch 532
Daniel Frisch St. 3,Tel Aviv 64078, ISRAEL
IBAN number: IL 60-0125-3200-0000-0471-067

Address to receive the contribution:
Frug Street 30
Tel Aviv 63417, ISRAEL

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