Israel imprisoning mothers and wives of political prisoners

Kawthar Nofal told PNN that Israeli intelligence has taken to arresting the mothers and wivers of Palestinian political prisoners in order to extract confessions.

Nofal, known as Umm Said for her eldest son, said that the idea is to threaten the prisoners by harming their loved ones. Israeli intelligence wants information, and will take what they can get, real or fabricated, the northwestern West Bank woman said candidly on Saturday.

“They arrested me from inside my house after the arrest of others in my family, and immediately took me to Jalama Prison so that my captive son, Said, could see that they had me.”

Now out of prison, Umm Said, continued, “I was subjected to two hours of interrogation tied to a chair with my feet and hands bound in chains without mercy or compassion.”

The woman said, “Intelligence officers told me that that I would be kept in prison and so would the men in my family. But I answered with confidence and pride. I said, ‘Jail is not only inhabited by men and I do not fear for my children.’”

She described further assaults on her family. “My husband is sick and in need of care. And they bring a patient to the prison.”

Umm Said said that the threat was for the future as well. “They said that I would not be able to visit my children in the prisons and if I did I would be watched and monitored, subjected to other things.”

The Qaliqilia mother described the conditions of Jalama Prison built on Jenin lands in the northern West Bank. “The cell was so narrow. After two days one came and asked me if was still alive. I told him that I live with the Lord and pray to God while in the cell. ‘I am not alone as you think,’ I told him. He was angered and walked away.”

Umm Said described the moments before she was released from the Israeli prison. “Hours before the release I fainted, lost consciousness fully. And I woke up in the prison infirmary after my blood pressure fell due to the poor conditions in the cell and during the times of interrogation. After I was released they continued to pressure my family who have lived harsh weeks in the cells of Jalama.”