nariman-ranaRana Nazzal, Palestinian activist, was arrested alongside Nariman Tamimi on Friday, June 28 at Nabi Saleh village’s weekly protests against illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Both were accused of entering a “closed military zone”, and were held for four days until their release prior to trial on Monday, July 1. Rana Nazzal is a Palestinian Canadian who organizes with SAIA (Students Against Israeli Apartheid) at Carleton University in Ottawa. She blogs at http://zaytouni.wordpress.com/ and tweets at @zaytouni_rana, from which she shared her experiences of arrest, imprisonment, and connection with the 16 Palestinian women prisoners held in occupation prisons:

The following quotes are from Nazzal’s Twitter account on July 2 of her arrest and imprisonment at the hands of the Israeli Occupation Forces: “Was arrested Friday at the #NabiSaleh protest without any provocation. When I asked the soldier why, she replied ‘because I feel like it’.  Nariman, myself, & a Spanish man were blindfolded, transported, & isolated from one another for some 8-9 hours before being brought to police.”

Nazzal reported that “Nariman and I were then kept handcuffed in a car with two male soldiers for 7 hours before finally being admitted to Hasharon prison [where all 16 Palestinian women prisoners are currently held]. . .Hasharon prison put us in a cell with cameras the first night. Only after we threatened to hunger strike they moved us to a regular cell.” She had been arrested previously by occupation soldiers while protesting, and comparing the experiences, wrote “Last year was worse. I was alone, confused, recovering from a beating, & arrest was a bit longer. Neither time was the spirit broken though, especially when you are faced with the ferocious spirits of the women prisoners.”

She related that “We met the 16 other Palestinian women political prisoners who welcomed us warmly. On Sunday they cooked mloukhieh & sent it to our cell. Lina Jarbouni and Alaa Joudeh I met when I was imprisoned last year. Lina has 6 years left on a 17 year sentence & Alaa was arrested at 17.

Sireen Khudiri, who was arrested for ‘Internet activism’ is teaching the 16 women prisoners English. Lina Jarbouni is teaching Hebrew. Tahrir Mansour told us soldiers broke everything in her house-fridge, washer- cut open sofas, even stole money, when they arrested her.”

Nazzal said that her case, and Tamimi’s, is not over. “At our trial Monday we were released on bail but the case isn’t over. We just had a trial now. Today at a follow up trial prosecutor pushed for jail time, but judge decided bail & house arrest. Tomorrow we’re appealing that decision!” noting that the “prosecutor said as part of his case for worse punishment on us, that Nariman and I aren’t afraid of the soldiers. Thanks for the compliment.”

“Lots of soldiers try to ease their consciences on us, perhaps by offering us water (wow) or telling us they don’t even like their job. It is much worse to me when a soldier knows what they’re doing is wrong but are too weak to stop doing it. I’m tired of weakness,” she wrote.