From Oppression to Liberation: The Struggles Faced By Recently Freed Palestinian Women & Children

Since the 4-day truce deal started on Friday, 24, captives held by Hamas were released in exchange for the return of 39 Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel. A temporary pause in fighting has also took place and the plan is that during this period, Hamas will release 50 of the 240 captives they took since October 7 while Israel will free about 150 Palestinian prisoners of the 8000 already detained. When looking at the Palestinian prisoners already released, it is hard to overlook the fact that they are all women and children, many of whom were imprisoned for merely stone-throwing or minor offenses.

So far, 24 women and 15 teenage Palestinian boys have been released including ex-prisoner Malik Sulaiman and Sarah Abdullah who was imprisoned for eight years. When taking a broader look at the currently imprisoned Palestinians, Israel is holding about 8000 Palestinian people in its jails and prisons, thousands of which are held without charge which is known as “administrative detention.” This type of detention occurs when someone is picked up from the street without any charges and without a trial and they imprisoned for at least six months and their detention gets renewed every six months indefinitely.

Save the Children, a humanitarian organization mentioned how many of the children held captive in these prisons had to face physical and emotional abuse including getting strip searched, beaten and injured during their arrest.

Today, a lot of the Palestinian prisoners getting released were imprisoned without any charges and along with that, had to face a hostile prison environment whether it was for eight years like that of Sarah Abdullah or since October 7. It is important to be aware of what the prisoners went through to showcase how they were hostages rather than actual prisoners and how their imprisonment was criminal.

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