The tragic stories of three Palestinian women
By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East. It is making a mockery of democracy by ignoring its basic element of due process of law and presumption of innocence.
Case in point: Here are three stories of Palestinian women who were denied justice and were subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment by the Israeli army. The reason was, to intimidate them into silence.
- Khalida Jarrar, is a member of Palestine legislative council and high ranking official with the PFLP who was arrested by IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) in her home in Ramallah last April. She is being held on Mickey Mouse charges, such as: 1) attending a book fair, 2) giving an interview, and 3) taking part in a rally that called for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Mrs. Jarrar who is also an attorney, lobbied to have a seat for Palestine on International Criminal court of Justice. The area in which she was arrested is under the Palestinian authority control and Israel has also violated her legislative immunity. Last year the IOF served her an expulsion notice for two years. She refused to sign it and told the office, “It is the occupation and not her that needs expelled.” Her husband was arrested 11 times in the past and has served 14 years jail time under the Administrative Detention Act without being told why. Mr. & Mrs. Jarrar have two daughters who are attending a law school in Canada.
- Shireen Issawi (pictured above), a Jerusalem native and an attorney is leading the fight for justice for political prisoners. Israel has illegally imprisoned her. IOF soldiers raided her house last March and confiscated all the phones, computers, and I pads owned by all her family members, none of which have been returned. Her brother Samer Issawi held the longest hunger striker in record among Palestinian prisoners.
In 1994, an Israeli soldier shot and killed her brother Fadi on his sixteenth birthday during a peaceful march against the massacre of 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron. Her family members have served a combined of 25 years in Israeli jails since Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967. Israel has banned her from practicing her profession as a lawyer and has cut off the water supply to her home. Miss Issawi has been put in solitary confinement for the last 3 months.
- Muna Shalabi, a Jerusalemite mother was given last May an expulsion notice due to the fact that her husband Omar Shalabi was sentenced along with 8 other Palestinians to 9 months in jail for writing anti-Israeli comments on Facebook. This took place after the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Mohammad Abdelkader by illegal Jewish settlers in Jerusalem last summer. During the same time Facebook messages were left by illegal Jewish settlers calling for the killing of one Palestinian every hour following the disappearance of 3 Jewish settlers. These messages received 17,000 likes and no one was charged. To illustrate the Israeli bias and unfair treatment, Ayelet Shaked, who was a member of the Israeli Knesset, called for genocide against mothers and children. She has since been promoted by PM Netanyahu to serve as his Justice Minister.
Now Israel has revoked Mrs. Shalabi’s Jerusalem residency status. This move will deny her children from attending school and receiving medical treatment. She now has to leave Jerusalem with her six children, the oldest, Ihab, is 22 and the youngest Lamar, is 7.
The stories of these three Palestinian women highlight the suffering and abuse that Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis under the Israeli occupation. All of this is done with help from our (yours and mine) tax dollars that Israel receives: 10 million dollars a day from our Treasury Department. We are all morally obligated to hold Israel accountable and demand that she stop the expulsion of Muna Shalabi and to put Khalida and Shireen on trial or release them immediately.
For the love of peace, please use your power to prevent injustice. Write to the President and Prime Minister of Israel or the nearest Israeli embassy:
Retired USAF Veteran