FILE – Palestinian journalist and writer Lama Khater – Courtesy of Khater’s family FILE – Palestinian journalist and writer Lama Khater – Courtesy of Khater’s family

Why Israel arrested Palestinian writer Lama Khater

Wed, Jul. 25, 2018
CAIRO – 25 July 2018: Palestine’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees condemned Tuesday Israel’s arrest of 14 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including journalist and writer Lama Khater over charges of engagement in hostile activities against Israeli people and soldiers.

In a statement, the ministry commented on the arrest of Khater, saying that it comes within the framework of the occupation’s government policy to cancel the role of opinion holders and political and social activists, by detaining them without real charges or fair judgment.

Khater was arrested from her home in Hebron. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s political leader, handed over to Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, on Tuesday a photo showing the moment Khater was arrested.

Palestinian journalist Lama Khater embraces her son before being arrested by Israeli soldiers in Hebron on Tuesday – Social media

Israeli media did not mention that Khater is accused of committing violent actions or cooperating with “terrorist” groups. Instead, the Israeli Jerusalem Post, for example, said that she was arrested for her “harsh anti-Israel writings.”

The ministry called on all human rights organizations to support Khater in order for her to be released, as her detention is considered a big loss for the Palestinian detainees who Khater had defended and expressed, adding that detainees view Khater as a mirror that reflects their suffering.

Lawyer Nadi Al-Aseer said that Khater is suffering cruel and intensified interrogation by the Israeli authorities in the investigation department of Ashkelon Prison.

Khater told Aseer that she has been interrogated while being tied to a chair all of the time, adding that interrogators do not enable her to sleep and continuously insult her, according to media reports.

Hoda Naieem, a Palestinian Parliamentarian, called on women support institutions to act in support of Khater, saying that Israel fights against freedom of media.

“Lama Khater was arrested because it uncovers the crimes of the occupation against our people, and this confirms that this occupation does not take laws, customs or international standards into consideration,” Naieem stated.

Khater, 42, is a political and media analyst. She was born in the West Bank’s Ramallah city. Khater is a mother of five. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language from the Faculty of Arts in Hebron University. Khater’s writings focus on defending the Palestinian issue and combating occupation.

“Two years ago, the occupation tried to arrest my wife,” Khater’s husband Hazem Al-Fakhory said in an interview with Felestin newspaper. He added that the occupation forces did not arrest her at the time because their youngest son was only 20 months old as Israeli law allows detained mothers to take their sons or daughters if they are younger than two.

“About five days ago, the occupation’s investigative [system] summoned me. All the meeting was about my wife. It incorporated threat messages over what they called incitement against occupation,” Fakhory said, adding that they threatened to arrest her if she does not cease incitement against the state.

“During the meeting they asked me about my child’s age, who is two years old. According to their law, they can arrest her [alone] without taking her [child] now. Since the meeting, I’ve been expecting them to arrest her at any moment, me,” Fakhory said, according to Felestin’s reports.

About 60 female detainees are being held in Israeli prisons, according to the Ministry of Detainees.
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