The dawn of April 4th was not an ordinary morning in the life of detainee Aisha Muhaisin. She woke up to a call from her brother, telling her that the Israeli army was at their house asking for her. Within five minutes, the occupation army was at her door, knocking forcefully. As soon as her husband opened the door, the soldiers stormed in, asking for Aisha. They allowed her to change her clothes before arresting her amidst the cries of her children, who were awake at the time. Once she stepped out of the house, they handcuffed her hands in front with plastic cuffs and shackled her feet upon reaching the military jeep. She was arrested without being allowed to say goodbye to her five children.

When Aisha got into the military jeep, she learned that her sister had also been arrested. They were taken together to a camp near the village until morning, both with their hands bound. Aisha sat on an iron chair the entire time, and they were not given any food or water. Every soldier who entered the room cursed and insulted them in Arabic. In the morning, they were transferred to Ofer for interrogation. Aisha was interrogated for an hour and a half, with her hands and feet bound the entire time, without providing her with water or food. After the interrogation, she was transferred to Hasharon Prison. Upon arrival, she underwent a thorough search, was shackled hand and foot, and placed in a cell with her sister. Their mother was also in the cell, having been arrested two days before them.

In the Hasharon Prison cell, the three of them – the two sisters and their mother – were reunited under inhumane conditions. There was nothing in the cell except for cameras. In the evening, they were provided with only one mattress and one blanket. After spending five days in Hasharon without any yard time, where they remained in the cell for 24 hours a day, Aisha and her sister were transferred to Damon Prison. Later, her sister Aina’ was released under conditions, as was her mother. Aisha remains in prison to this day, being tried on charges of incitement.

Detained on Charges of Incitement: Collective Punishment for Relatives of Palestinian Martyrs:

Words such as "May God have mercy on you" and "God bless your soul" for martyrs have become, in the eyes of the occupation, incitement to violence and terrorism, with the writers of these words being arrested for many months or even years. These words, along with posting pictures of her martyred brother on her Facebook page, were the reasons for Aisha Muhaisin's arrest on April 4, 2024, and for trying her before the military court on charges of incitement to violence and supporting terrorism. Aisha is the sister of martyr "Ahmed Ghithan," who was killed on July 6, 2023. Additionally, her sister "Aina’ Ghithan" and her mother "Khadra Ghithan" were arrested during the same period but were later released under conditions. Her brothers, Abdul Hadi and Suleiman Ghithan, remain detained by the occupation on the same charges of incitement.

Since October 7, 2023, the campaigns of arrests carried out by the occupation forces have escalated due to posts made on social media. Claims of incitement have been used as a pretext by the occupation to arrest the entire Palestinian community, especially since the beginning of the genocide being committed against Palestinians in Gaza. The military prosecutor of the occupation bases its decisions against Palestinians on charges of incitement under Articles 251 and 199(c) of Military Order No. 1651 of 2009. The issue with this order lies in the vague definitions related to posts of praise, support, or encouragement. These terms are so broad that they give the military judge and prosecutor wide discretion to interpret them as incitement. This has extended to phrases of mercy and condolences for martyrs, viewing them as incitement and stripping them of their humanitarian context, despite being expressions of grief commonly used by Palestinians who have lost loved ones.

Aisha is now awaiting her sentence for expressing condolences for her martyred brother. She lives in prison, away from her five children who are now without their mother. She fears giving birth in prison amid the harsh conditions faced by female prisoners, with no consideration for her humanitarian or health conditions as a pregnant woman.

Motherhood in Chains, and an Unborn Child Awaiting Shackles

Aisha is a mother of five children and is seven months pregnant. Her eldest child is twelve-year-old Malak, who hid under her bed in fear when she saw the occupation army storming their home and arresting her mother. Her youngest is four-year-old Luqman, who clung to the edge of his mother's cloak with tears in his eyes as she was taken away. In between are eleven-year-old Adnan, nine-year-old Miral, and eight-year-old Othman. Aisha's husband says that her absence has significantly affected the children and their mental state. Every day, Malak looks through her phone at pictures of her mother with falling tears. Luqman constantly calls out "Mama," unable to comprehend her absence and arrest. The family is now living with the pain of their mother’s forced absence due to her arrest, as described by the father who is trying to fill both parental roles. The entire family deeply misses Aisha and yearns to hear her voice echo through the house. However, these children have yet to understand that there are those who can strip away motherhood just as they strip away life and everything else.

On the other hand, Aisha is suffering from being separated from her family and fears that she might give birth in prison. She is seven months pregnant. During a visit to Damon Prison, where she is detained, she described the harsh conditions faced by female prisoners. These conditions include a lack of food and essential supplies, mistreatment, and abuse, especially since October 7th, when a fierce campaign against prisoners intensified, depriving them of the most basic human necessities.

Aisha spoke about the difficult circumstances she endures as a pregnant woman, with no adequate medical care or regular check-ups to monitor her health and the health of her unborn baby. The prison administration has only provided her with a blood sugar test, which was conducted a few days before her lawyer's visit. Besides, the poor quality and quantity of food adversely affect her and her baby's health. She also hasn't received any supplements or vitamins essential for pregnant women throughout her pregnancy because the prison administration does not provide them.

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