Samar Sobeih, Gives Birth in Israeli Prison

By : Ali Farkhan Tsani, Senior Editor of MINA

Samar Sobeih, detained at the age  22, is a stoic and tough, former Palestinian female prisoner, who gave birth to her first child, Baraa, while she was in the Israeli occupation prison.

Sobeih was arrested by Israeli soldiers from her home in 2005, when she was in her first month of pregnancy.

She was arrested at her home in the West Bank city of Tulkarm, where her husband lives, at night, by brutal means.

He continued, “Army forces brutally attacked my house in the middle of the night, and I was taken, blindfolded, and tied to the Al-Maskobiya investigative center in Jerusalem, while I was pregnant with my first child.”

She spent two months of interrogation and suffering, in solitary confinement, away from the healthy air, sunlight, and health care and nutrition that a pregnant woman must receive.

After accusing her of “moving students”, Samar Sobeih was put in prison.

“The court brought many charges against me, which I denied. The occupation makes accusations against Palestinian women and people in general without evidence, and this is what administrative prisoners suffer, without charge,” she said.

Samar Sobeih witnessed that the female prisoners lived in harsh conditions, in small cells, each containing 5 female prisoners.

Women detainees are also deprived of visits, care and education, and are subjected to medical neglect, she added.

Before giving birth to her first child, Samar Sobeih, made a request to the Prison Authority, to give her the opportunity to give birth at home. This is in accordance with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates respect for detainees. However, the request was rejected.

She also went into labor, which she described as “very heavy”. It was the first birth she had as a woman, where she had to give birth, away from all the members of her family.

Even when she had to be admitted to an Israeli hospital, her hands and feet were tied with iron handcuffs.

She added, “The security guards were very strict, I was shackled, the conditions were very harsh and inhumane.”

She said sadly, “Baraa went to jail with me, and spent two years there.”

He also explained that Israel refuses to provide the necessary health care, whether she is pregnant, after giving birth.

The prison guards used to tell her, “You are a terrorist, and soon you will be placing a new Palestinian terrorist.” The Prison Authority Administration also treats innocent children as prisoners without special treatment, she said.

Sobeih explained Baraa was prevented from breathing outside air, sunlight, and possession of toys.

Samar Sobeih, referred to as the “mother of the youngest captives”, and has spent 2 years and 8 months behind bars.

She and her son, Baraa, were later released from prison, after living in inhumane conditions, and without adequate treatment, reports Anadolu Agency, October 20, 2021.

Baraa, Samar Sobeih’s eldest child who lived in prison for two years, was traumatized by the early-crew life outside prison, which he saw for the first time. Baraa began to scream and cry a lot.

Israeli soldiers upon her release did not return Sobeih to her husband’s house, in Tulkarm, West Bank. But returned Sobeih to his hometown in the Gaza Strip, where her relatives live in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Jabalia.

Her husband accompanies her and her little son in the Gaza Strip, and they live together.

Sobeih and her husband need time to rehabilitate their son, and adapt him to his relatives and surroundings.

She said in a sad voice when he first moved in, “Baraa is afraid of the sparrow standing next to him, because this is not common in prisons,” she said.

Now, Baraa is 16 years old, sitting in the tenth grade of middle school (SMA). A year ago when he received his achievement report card, he achieved an average score of 9.8. Baraa, also just finished memorizing the Quran about 25 juz.

Baraa, who has two twin sisters, dreams of continuing his studies in medicine, so that one day he can treat humans.

In 2016, Samar Sobeih and his family had to go to Turkey to treat his daughter, Ahlam, who needed surgery on her leg.

Ahlam had to undergo major leg surgery in a hospital in Istanbul, and she remained there for 6 months while wearing medical platinum.

After the surgery, her daughter needs regular visits to Turkey every one or two years, for a medical review, and for further treatment steps.

Samar Sobeih in her latest message called on Arab and Islamic countries to work “to force the Israeli occupation to stop its violation of the rights of prisoners, especially women.”

She praised the solidarity of the Turkish President’s wife, Emine Erdogan, who paid attention to the issue of “detainees in Israeli prisons.”

Sobeih met the wife of the Turkish president on October 16, 2021, at a conference held in Istanbul called “We are all Mary”, to explain the situation of Palestinian women and children.

When she was a resource person at the webinar “Defending Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Prisons” held by the Palestinian Authority Aqsa Working Group (AWG), on Wednesday night, January 12, 2022, Samar Sobeih expressed his emotion, mixed with happiness and pride, for the concern and solidarity of the Muslims in Indonesia.

Samar Sobeih said holding back tears, was touched, moved and hoped that this webinar would have a big impact on the release of Palestinian prisoners. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)