Women's Organization for Political Prisoners (WOFPP)

Newsletter March 2006

There are about 120 women political prisoners at present in Israeli jails: in Hasharon Prison (Tel Mond) about 107, in Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle) six, and several more in detention centers.

‘Etaf 'Alyan , 42 years old, administrative detainee, from Ramallah, mother of a 16 months old baby. On 22 December 2005 she was taken from her house in Ramallah by the Israeli army to Hashron Prison (Tel Mond). Following an appeal, her six months' administrative detention order was reduced to four months. On 20 February 2006 ‘Etaf went on a hunger strike protesting her detention and demanding to have her baby with her. The prison authorities refused. Three days after she began the hunger strike the prison authorities transferred her, as a punishment, to Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle), where she is held in separation.
‘Etaf, a previous longtime prisoner, had been held in Israeli prisons over 10 years at different times. After her release and between her arrests, she established several social projects in Bethlehem: a center for women, and a kindergarten that developed into a primary school. After her marriage she moved to Ramallah and opened an Internet Cafe for women and girls who can surf and study Internet there. .

Hashron Prison (Tel Mond)

Family visits
The International Red Cross which organizes the buses for the families decided that little children are allowed to visit only once a month and not twice as allowed by the prison authorities. This decision causes a lot of anger among the prisoners. It is very important for the mothers to meet their children. In many prisoners’ families all the adults are forbidden to visit, which means that the children are the only visitors. Recently, the Israeli authorities forbade the prisoners’ nephews and nieces to visit them. In some cases the small nephews and nieces were the only family members who were allowed to visit the prison, and now they are also forbidden.
The families are always delayed on their way to the visit by the procedures imposed by the Israeli authorities: for example they have to change the bus at some checkpoints, and they have to wait for it a long time. The families have to start their visiting day at four o'clock in the morning. Although the distance to the prison is not more than 100 km, they reach the prison only around 14:00 o'clock (2pm). The visit itself lasts 45 minutes. The families have to wait at the prison entrance before and after the visit and only at about 21:00 o'clock (9pm) does the bus leave on the way back. Therefore their journey lasts till midnight or later.

The windows still cannot be opened because they remain covered with metal covers that do not let in any daylight and very little air to breathe.

Now the women prisoners have a room serving as a library and a place for studying. They submitted a demand requesting that the minors among the women political prisoners be allowed regular studies with a professional teacher, similar to what the minor male political prisoners are allowed.

Recently, the prison authorities charged several prisoners for transgressions they allegedly committed long ago.

Lately, the women prisoners have received quite a lot of letters from abroad, and they are very happy to get the letters. They have to buy stamps in the canteen, and for some time there were no stamps so they couldn’t answer. Now they intend to do so.

Manal Ghanim , 30 years old, mother of four, from Tulkarem Refugee Camp, was arrested on 16 April 2003. Her son Nour will stay with his mother until the next court session about his case, which will take place on 24 May 2006. The campaign to release Manal is continuing.
More about Manal Ghanim

Samar Sbih , from Tulkarem, was arrested on 29 September 2005. She is in the seventh month of her pregnancy. She was recently examined in an external clinic and was found to have lost weight. She doesn’t receive any additional food and does not get enough meat and vegetables. The other prisoners give her from their portions, but this is also very limited as the prisoners get vegetables and fruit only twice or three times a week in very small quantities. This is also the case with milk and milk products. - Samar's husband is an administrative detainee in an Israeli military prison, which means that they cannot meet.

Rasha el’Azza , 18 years old, from Al-Dehisha refugee camp. Her mother is now allowed to visit her, after she succeeded in convincing the prison authorities that she really is her mother.

Amne Muna , 29 years old, from Bir Nabala, was arrested on 19 January 2001. The prison authorities don't allow her to continue her university studies.


Mariam elTarabin , 18 years old, from Jericho, was arrested on 23 January 2005. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Neve Tirza Prison (Ramle prison)

The women political prisoners are still suffering from fungus.
Taghrid Gahshan, the lawyer of WOFPP, is still forbidden to meet Tali Fahima .

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