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Freed Palestinian activist says her last arrest by Israel was 'the harshest'

Freed Palestinian activist Hanady Halawani said Friday her arrest by Israeli authorities was "the harshest" among previous arrests she had experienced in the past years. 

Halawani is a well-known activist in occupied East Jerusalem who has been arrested several times and was subjected to being banned from the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli authorities.

She was released days ago in a prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas.

"Every time I say the arrest was difficult, but this one was indeed the harshest, it was an arrest without an arrest warrant," said Halawani.

When she asked Israeli police for an arrest warrant, they told her that "there is no law today," and then they beat her.

She noted when she was arrested, Israeli forces blew down the door of her house and took her without allowing her to wear her headscarf, and she was threatened with rape and the killing of her and her family.

Halawani said an Israeli police personnel "spit on her and swore at her with curses."

She said a female police officer dragged her to custody in front of male policemen without having her headscarf.

She said was "exposed to verbal, psychological and physical violence" by the prison authorities. "It was a very tough period on me and on other women detainees in general."

Non-existent accusations

Halawani said in every arrest case she has faced, Israeli police accused her of being part of a non-existent group.

According to Halawani, Israeli authorities claim the existence of a female group called the "Murabitat Organization" and label it as a terror entity.

"Every person who makes a presence inside Al-Aqsa Mosque is accused of incitement," she said.

Halawani, however, insists on making her presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque and exposing Israeli violations against the facility.

According to Palestinian rights groups, under the recent prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, Israel released 240 Palestinian detainees, of which 71 are women and 169 minors.

Their release was in exchange for releasing 81 Israelis, while 25 foreigners were also released from Gaza outside the framework of the deal.

The Israeli army resumed attacks across the Gaza Strip early Friday after the end of the humanitarian pause, causing hundreds of causalities among the Palestinians.

At least 109 Palestinians were killed and many others injured as Israel resumed striking various areas in the Gaza Strip following the end of the pause, said the Health Ministry in Gaza.

The pause between Israel and Hamas went into effect Nov. 24.  

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