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Israeli prison authorities are free to beat, torture any woman inmate, says freed Palestinian

Israeli prison authorities have the freedom to beat and torture any Palestinian woman inmate, even spraying them with toxic gas, providing very little food, and on resistance, keeping them in solitary confinement, said Maysoon Musa Al-Jabali, who secured freedom after more than eight years through a hostage swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

The worst time for women in Israeli prisons began after Oct. 7, and they "faced difficult times," Al-Jabali, the senior most Palestinian woman inmate in Israeli jails, told Anadolu on Sunday, explaining how difficult her time was following her arrest in June 2015.

"The Israeli authorities took everything away from women inmates after Oct. 7," said Al-Jabali, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a stabbing attack at the Rachel's Dome checkpoint (Bilal Mosque) near Bethlehem in the West Bank, during which an Israeli woman soldier was injured.

“Israeli prison guards tortured the women inmates by beating them, spraying them with gas, and sending them for solitary confinement,” Al-Jabali explained, adding, “Even they were threatened with more repression.”

“The jailers told us that they had the green light to do anything,” she said.

Food was another major issue inside the jail, she said, adding that "the prison administration was providing scarce food to 80 female inmates, which was barely enough for less than 10 inmates."

According to Al-Jabali, women inmates received "some news about what was happening outside."

Regarding her release, she said, “Freed Palestinians did not want their freedom to be gained in this way.”

“Our freedom was worth such a high price covered in blood,” she said.

After securing her freedom, she wants to pursue her dream of a university education. “I obtained a bachelor’s degree in social service inside prison,” Al-Jabali said, adding: “My ambition is to complete my education. I have great hopes.”

Al-Jabali had arrived in Al-Bireh city in the central West Bank with 33 child prisoners after their release under a hostage swap deal.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in Baljiyat al-Bireh Square to welcome the released inmates amid the waving of Palestinian, Hamas, and Fatah flags, according to an Anadolu correspondent on the ground.

On Friday, Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas agreed to a humanitarian pause, which temporarily halted the Israeli army's intensified onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has destroyed almost everything, including residential buildings, hospitals, and schools.

Israel and Hamas swapped 24 Israelis and foreigners for 39 Palestinians from Israeli jails on Friday, on the first day of a four-day humanitarian pause. The two sides also swapped on Saturday the second batch of hostages comprising 39 Palestinians and 13 Israelis along with four foreigners.

Under the agreement, the hostages will be released in batches during the course of four days.

Israel launched a massive military campaign against the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas last month.

It has since killed at least 14,854 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and over 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.

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