Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) yesterday released Lina Khattab after holding her for 2 months in Ofer prison and 4 months in Israel’s HaSharon prison.
Khattab (18), a Journalism student at Birzeit university, met family and friends at Jabara checkpoint south of Tulkarem yesterday after her long-awaited release from HaSharon prison in Israel.
Khattab was arrested in December 2014 during a peaceful protest organized by students in solidarity with the Palestinian Political Prisoners, and sentenced on January 16 2015 to a 6-month imprisonment and a 6,000 Israeli Shekel fine ($1,500 USD). Her charges were “throwing stones” and “participating in an unlawful demonstration”, according to Mondoweiss.
During the 2 months after her arrest, Khattab was taken to Ofer prison and refused bail. According to her mother, she lost a lot of weight due to harsh conditions and severe interrogation methods. Khattab reported “extreme beatings”, being forced to stand outside for hours during winter and sleep deprivation.
Israeli torture of Palestinian child detainees has been well-documented, with reports from lawyers and families of detainees emerging regularly. These reports on Israeli violations of international law and conventions advocating children’s rights are nothing new. Reports of child torture in Israeli prisons join an ever-lengthening list of Israeli violations of children’s rights.
Sadly, despite these allegations and despite the deaths of 535 children during the Israeli 2014 assault on Gaza, the UN decided on 29 May not to include Israel on a list of states and organizations accused of violating children’s rights during armed conflicts
Khattab’s arrest and subsequent detention sparked a worldwide campaign for her release, with a Facebook page garnering over 3000 ‘likes’.