A Closer Look at Women and Children Prisoners

By Mike Fegelman

June 27, 2006

A second Globe and Mail report by Orly Halpern takes a closer look at the Palestinian prisoners — women and children — who Palestinian terror organizations want released from Israeli prisons in exchange for information about the kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Entitled ?Palestinian female prisoners have ?blood on their hands,?? the report includes these nuggets:

"109 Palestinian women and 313 Palestinian children under the age of 18 … are sitting in Israeli prisons as security prisoners, the Israeli prison authority said yesterday.

The women are accused of acts such as planning suicide bombings, aiding suicide bombers, preparing suicide-bomb belts, attacking Israeli soldiers with knives and being members of a terrorist organization.

‘Sixty-four of the women and 91 of the youth have blood on their hands,’ prison authority spokeswoman Orit Stelster said…

Palestinian children in Israeli jails are boys ranging in age from 13 to 18. Most of them were jailed for carrying knives at Israeli military checkpoints or throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli military jeeps in the West Bank. Recently it was revealed that boys are deliberately trying to get arrested by Israeli forces by carrying knives or simple bombs."


On June 19, the Globe and Mail’s Mark Mackinnon profiled Palestinian youths who intentionally get themselves arrested so they can serve time in Israeli prisons:

"He first heard it from a kid who sat beside him in class: If you get yourself arrested by the Israeli army, they send you to a prison with digital television, interesting books and even a decent soccer pitch. In short, everything you don’t find in Nablus, a city cut off from the rest of the West Bank by a series of Israeli military checkpoints.

To Mohammed, it sounded like a dream vacation. So on Feb. 25, he tucked a kitchen knife under his shirt and headed toward the concrete barriers and metal turnstiles that block the road south to Ramallah.

It played out just as his friend described… ‘Ofer [prison] was like paradise. You could go to the toilet whenever you wanted, and we had a good time playing football and table tennis in the big courtyard. I started reading good books in there,’ he said…

Mohammed was pleased to get a seven-month sentence. He was crestfallen when his father, Qasim, paid a $250 bond to get him released early."


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