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Israeli forces detain 20-year-old Palestinian woman after 12 hours of interrogation

Oct. 7, 2016 2:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2016 10:29 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained on Friday a 20-year-old Palestinian woman from the village of Artas near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank after the young woman underwent 12 hours of interrogation at the Etzion detention center in southern Bethlehem late Thursday.

The father of Shifa Awad Mahmoud Abu Freijeh told Ma’an that Israeli forces called him on Thursday morning, informing him that his daughter was summoned to meet with Israeli intelligence that afternoon at 12 p.m.

Abu Freijeh said his daughter left to Etzion with her mother, brother, and cousin, and was then interrogated until 12 a.m. While her family was waiting for her outside the detention center, an Israeli soldier told them that she was being detained since she has been “wanted” by Israeli authorities for two years for “security reasons.”

Last week, according to Abu Freijeh, Israeli intelligence had sent a notice to his daughter to meet with Israeli intelligence at Etzion. However, when she came to the detention center the soldiers did not interrogate her, instead only confiscating the ID of her brother Muhammad, 23.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 10,000 Palestinian women and girls have been detained by Israeli forces over the past 45 years. In 2015 alone, Israeli forces detained 106 Palestinian women and girls, which according to the group represented a 70 percent increase compared to detention numbers in 2013.

Since a wave of political unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October, with Israeli forces carrying out mass detention campaigns, the number of Palestinian women and girls detained by Israeli forces has risen sharply.

According to Addameer, among those detained since October were 13 underage girls, some of whom were wounded when Israeli forces detained them. The group added that at the closing of 2015, there were three Palestinian women held in administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of detention without charge or trial.

The group has also reported on the treatment of Palestinian women prisoners by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees were subjected to "psychological torture" and "ill-treatment" by Israeli authorities, including "various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”

As of August, the group reported that 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 56 of whom were women.
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