The photo above is of Qamar Manasra, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in Reineh, a small village in the northern part of Israel. On July 19, Qamar’s home was invaded by Israeli forces who arrested her on charges of “incitement” for her posts on Facebook.
The Israelis were apparently quite violent–toward Qamar as well as other members of her family. An article about her has been posted here, although you won’t be able to read it unless you read Arabic. But you will be able to see additional pictures, including a photo of her with her arm around her elderly grandfather as well as a separate photo of what apparently is her father.
Apparently the home was pretty thoroughly ransacked. Qamar is also mentioned in a report here, which is in English, and if you go there you can read about her as well as a number of other Palestinian women and girls imprisoned by Israel. Interestingly, Qamar’s village, Reineh, is also the home village of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who was arrested last October and charged with–yes, you guessed it–“incitement.”
According to the article,
Tatour has been supported by hundreds of writers around the world, including Pulitzer Prize winners and other world-renowned novelists, poets, and artists. She was imprisoned for three months and has since been held in house arrest for nine months; part of the original conditions of her house arrest included exile from her village of Reineh. Instead, her brother was forced to rent a separate apartment in Tel Aviv and her brother and sister-and-law forced to lose work in order to “guard” her 24/7. Finally, the prosecution dropped its objection to Tatour serving out her house arrest in Reineh last week; today, 25 July, her return to Reineh – still under house arrest – is expected to be approved, following significant international rpessure on the case.
Another woman mentioned in the story is Abla al-Adam, 45, who was arrested December 20, 2015 after being shot in the head by what apparently was a rubber-coated steel bullet. The bullet put her right eye out, and according to the report she now suffers from medical neglect in Israeli custody. She reportedly cannot move her head without severe pain, but is given only sedatives and painkillers rather than any serious medical treatment for the root causes of her pain.
She was hospitalized but moved before the completion of her treatment to HaSharon prison. Much of her care comes from her fellow women prisoners rather than from any kind of medical personnel. She was accused of having a knife at a checkpoint in al-Khalil. Al-Adam has nine children; only her minor children have been allowed to visit her, not those over the age of 18, due to “security” denials.
Earlier this month, Mondoweiss conducted an interview with poet Tatour in Occupied Palestine, where she is still undergoing house arrest.
“Never in my life did I believe that a poem that I wrote could lead to this,” Tatour said. “Up until this moment, I still haven’t absorbed it.”
According to the author of the article, a frayed picture of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish hangs in the poet’s bedroom…and she also has a pet cat.
So what exactly led to the arrest of this dangerous woman?
During the upsurge of violence between Palestinians and Israelis last fall, Tatour posted a poem called “Resist my people, Resist them,” which would become the centerpiece of the multi-pronged case against her. Accompanied by dramatic music and familiar footage of Israeli house raids and Palestinian youth clashing with IDF soldiers, the defiant, confrontational poem calls for a sustained resistance against occupation. The clip had only 113 views at the time of her arrest.
The specific subject and inspiration of this poem was the murder of three Palestinian civilians in the past two years: Ali Dawabsheh, the 18-month-old infant who was burned to death by right-wing settlers in July 2015; Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the teen who was kidnapped and burned to death in July 2014, and Hadil Hashlamoun, the unarmed 18-year-old student who was gunned down at a checkpoint in September 2015. “I was in so much pain,” Dareen says. “It hit me hard. I wrote the poem about them. Hadeel Hashlamoun—they killed her at checkpoint because she refused to remove her hijab…The poem is for them.”
Israel, it is said, is now the 8th most powerful nation in the world. What does it say when a country this powerful should feel this threatened and terrified by poets and teenage girls posting on Facebook?
(Hat tip Rico Hands)