INDEPENDENT NEWS

Israel Detains Activists' Wives as Hostages

Published: Tue 28 Oct 2003 11:46 PM
Israel Continues to Imprison A Palestinian Minor, Detains Activists' Wives as Hostages
ELBIREH, Palestine -- The Palestinian Prisoners Affair ministry condemned yesterday the continued imprisonment of a Palestinian child in the Israeli jails, as the Israeli occupying forces started detaining Palestinian resistance activists' wives to use them as hostages.
In a written press statement, the Ministry expressed deep concerns over the life of 12-year old Rakan Nusseirat, from Jericho governorate, who has been imprisoned in "Ofer" detention camp under harsh detention conditions.
"Under extreme psychological pressure and threats by the Israeli jail administration, Nusseirat attempted suicide for the third time, by drinking several medicines and chlorine. He was transferred to "Hadasa" hospital in Jerusalem few days ago. Nusseirat is the youngest Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails, and we consider his detention a grave violation to the child's right declaration and all international humanitarian laws," excerpts from the statement read.
The statement pointed out that Nusseirat attempted suicide for the first time during his arrest in the notorious "Etsion" detention camp, because of extreme fear and pressure by the cruel Israeli methods of interrogation. After that, he was transferred to "Ofer" detention camp, where an Israeli court extended his detention for another week on October, despite his lawyer's requests to release him due to his young age. During the court hearing, he attempted suicide another time.
The Ministry called all international and human rights organizations around the world to intervene and exert pressure on the Israeli government to release the child Nusseirat, and cease all the violations to international humanitarian laws being committed everyday in its jails and detention camps.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) started adopting a new pursuit to apprehend Palestinian resistance activists; arresting their wives and using them as hostages.
One of the victims of such pursuit was Tamam Abdel Wahed, 23, from the village of Kafer Qalil, north of Ramallah City, which was arrested only because she was the wife of Enad Al Refa'ei, one of the Palestinian resistance activists, Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper reported.
IOF soldiers broke into the family house, arrested Tamam and took her to the military jeeps waiting outside, not caring about her four children, including a seven-month old infant. Israeli military commanders hope that, by using such an immoral pursuit, to extort Palestinian resistance activists into turning themselves to the Israeli forces in exchange for the release of their wives.
However, even if their plot succeeded, and the activist surrendered himself to them, they rarely release their wives, as with the case of Sheikh Jamal Abul Hayja, one of Hamas senior figures in the West Bank. IOF arrested his wife and threw her in the "Al Ramla" prison. After Abul Hayja surrendered himself to the occupying forces, they kept arresting his wife, despite knowing that she has a brain tumor. It was supposed to have a surgery to remove it prior to her arrest.
Not only do the occupying forces arrest these wives, but inside the jails, the harshest inhuman means of interrogation and torture are used against them, in a hope of obtaining under duress some more personal information about their husbands, which would be used against them.

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