Meet Israa Jaabis, the Palestinian Prisoner Recently Released in a Prisoners’ Swap Deal Between Israel and Hamas

by Nada Khaled

 

The name of Israa Jaabis, the 38-year-old Palestinian prisoner who was detained for 8 years, was recently announced among the prisoners’ names released as per the exchange agreement between the Israeli government and the Hamas movement during the truce.

A number of female prisoners were freed from the city of Jerusalem by the Israeli forces in response to a media blackout that highlighted certain aspects of the release procedure.

Just before Israa Jaabis was supposed to be released from prison, Israeli special forces also broke into her house. Video footage captured Israeli soldiers forcibly removing journalists and Israa’s family members from the residence.

After the Israeli forces were unable to evacuate the house, Israa arrived at her residence in the interim.

Following her release, footage of Israa Jaabis meeting her family and only son was released by Palestine TV.

In 2015, Israa was detained by Israeli forces following the breakdown of her vehicle on a highway 1.5 kilometers away from the West Bank’s Zaim checkpoint. There is disagreement over the car’s breakdown’s cause.

Israeli media claimed it was an attempt to bomb the car near the base, while the Arab media stressed that the butane tank she was carrying for personal use caught fire due to the car’s malfunctioning engine, and Jaabis was not allowed to get out of the vehicle.

Al-Arabiya claims that an electrical short circuit caused the fire to start and that no explosive device was discovered inside the car.

When the fire inside the car started, Israa got out and called the Israeli police officers stationed nearby for an ambulance. When they failed to deliver an ambulance, the officers mobilized and brought additional security and law enforcement officers.

Israa, a symbol of hope and is deemed one of the most prominent female Palestinian icons, requires eight emergency surgeries to treat severe injuries to her hands, separate her attached ears from her head, and operate on her eyes and face.

Moreover, Jaabis constantly suffers from high temperatures, and her treatment requires years of physical and psychological rehabilitation.

And because most of her fingers were destroyed as a result of the fire and injury, Israa is unable to eat or perform the simplest tasks of daily living.

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