Anhar al-Deek, 25, was arrested in March after an attack; she will be the first Palestinian security prisoner to give birth in Israeli custody since 2008.
A Palestinian woman accused of attempting to stabbing Israeli settlers is set to give birth in prison while awaiting trial; it’s the first time in about a decade and a half that something like this has happened.
Anhar Al-Deek, 25, was jailed on March 8 outside the Palestinian settlement of Ras Karkar in the central West Bank at the illegal Israeli farming outpost of Sdeh Ephraim. An Israeli military judge ordered her to be held in jail until the case against her was finished in April.
Al-Deek was already expecting a child when she was arrested. Her story has flooded Palestinian social media as she approaches her due date in an Israeli jail. The hashtag “Save Anhar al-Deek” trended several times in Arabic, and articles about her were extensively circulated in Arabic-language media.
According to an official Palestinian WAFA news agency report, Gaza resident Fatima al-Ziq was the last Palestinian lady to give birth while in Israeli custody in 2008. Israel Prison Services spokesperson Hanna Herbst-Shechter, Palestinian security inmates are treated the same as any other prisoners when giving birth behind bars.
“IPS regulations allow mothers in prison to retain children up to the age of two with them. Herbst-Shechter stated, “The IPS is prepared and ready to deal with these scenarios.”
The jail system has remained silent about the subject. According to a security officer acquainted with the laws, Al-Deek would be brought to an Israeli hospital while under supervision. Reports circulating in Palestinian media, al-Deek will be forced to give birth while tied to her hospital bed.
“Of course, [her guards] will be stationed outside the door. “She’ll deliver her baby in a hospital.” in the settings one would expect from a hospital, but she will not be put in a taxi and sent away,” the official explained.
According to Israeli military prosecutors, Al-Deek broke into Sdeh Ephraim’s farmhouse, stole a knife from the kitchen, and attempted to attack Leah Ze’ev, one of the farm’s owners, who contacted her husband for help.
At the time, Ze’ev’s two children, ages eight and one, were present in the house. According to the accusation, the eight-year-old daughter fled the scene as al-Deek picked up a ten-centimeter-long knife.
The indictment said Al-Deek “waved [the knife] as she approached the victim, who had backed away and begged for help.”
Ze’ev closed the door on al-Deek, who continued to wave the knife at her from inside the house as she escaped with her one-year-old daughter. According to the accusation, Ze’ev’s spouse Eitan arrived with his brother and subdued al-Deek at gunpoint about that time.
Prosecutors said Al-Deek threw down the knife as soon as she saw their weapons, and they held her until Israeli forces arrived on the scene.
Aggravated assault and knife possession were charges against Al-Deek. She already has a history of mental illness, according to her lawyer, Akram Samareh. He said she was insane at the time of the incident.
“It’s a case of mental illness.” She had no idea how she had landed herself there… “She claims she wasn’t aware of what she was doing,” Samareh remarked over the phone.
Al-Deek was not psychologically fit to face trial, according to Samareh, and should be discharged. Prosecutors have presented the court with a psychiatric evaluation that refutes his statements. According to the Israeli military, the court has requested more information on the case.
“A Palestinian claim she is mentally sick, while Israelis claim she is not. Who is a court in Israel meant to believe? “Of course, it’s the Israelis,” Samareh said.
After that, al-Deek will have to decide whether or not to keep the child in prison with her for up to two years. According to the security source, such scenarios are challenging since they require balancing competing objectives, such as putting an innocent person in jail while also valuing the right of the incarcerated mother to remain with her child.
“However, we’re talking about a detainee, not a person who has been sentenced. So it’s possible she won’t serve any time at all, and it’s unclear where this will lead,” the official added.
Samareh asserted that his client was entitled to give birth to her kid “in the hospital of her choice, in the conditions of her choice.”
“She wishes to raise her children in a free environment. Is it possible for her to raise him within four walls?” Samareh remarked.