Friday, August 7, 2009

Prison Toughens Palestinian Women

By Jon Elmer

"BETHLEHEM, Aug 7 (IPS) - In her office at the Bethlehem women's counselling centre, Khawla Al-Azraq recounts her memories from Israeli prison as vividly as if they were yesterday: the routine physical and psychological abuse, the nightly room searches, the hunger strikes and other collective actions in protest against their conditions, and the intense study sessions with her fellow prisoners......

The latest Palestinian Centre for Human Rights weekly report cites 214 arrests, including two children, during at least 21 Israeli army incursions into the West Bank in the seven days ending Jul. 29.

"Like any human community, there are contradictions," says Al-Azraq. "But there is a common thread in the experience in prison that gives us strength, a common goal, a common purpose. We are joined together in struggle, so our shared experiences only make us stronger." "

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