Ola has four siblings, she lives with two of them in Nablus, 24-year-old Shuruq and 19-year-old Ahmad. Ola’s parents along with her other two siblings are living in Saudi Arabia due to her father’s job.
On 11 March 2018 around 1:00 pm, an Israeli intelligence officer called Ola’s uncle and informed him that Ola has an interview with Israeli intelligence at Huwwara interrogation and detention center. Ola and her uncle arrived to Huwwara on the same day at around 3:00 pm. They waited there for two hours without anyone showing up for the claimed interview. Afterward, an Israeli officer showed up, he introduced himself as captain Hassan and informed them that the other captain is busy with a mission now which is why Ola has to stay at Huwwara for few days. Her uncle refused and told the officer that he will take Ola home and bring her back when the other captain becomes available. After arguing with the officer for around half an hour, Ola asked her uncle to go home and leave her at Huwwara.
There was no arrest order issued for Ola, still, they took her to a room, searched her and then they handcuffed and blindfolded her. Ola was transferred to Petah Tikva in a small Bosta. Still, she did not know where was she taken to.
Interrogation and torture:
When Ola arrived to Petah Tikva she was taken to a cell which had cameras. Ola was then transferred to another cell, she spent most of her interrogation period in that exact cell. This cell was 2*2 meters, it had a toilet though with no door. There was also a shower but Ola did not use because it was exposed. The cell was underground so no ventilation. The light in the cell was orange in it was on the whole time along with an air-conditioning which was put on a really low temperature.
Interrogation sessions started after half an hour of her arrival to Petah Tikva. It lasted for seventeen days, each day three to four interrogation session and each session was around two hours. Furthermore, eight to ten different interrogators were in those sessions which Ola. Israeli interrogators used different methods with Ola. Such as threatening Ola from preventing her to go back to school, or to give her an administrative detention order, or to arrest her sister or brother. The interrogators used to dance in front of her and insult her though calling her names.
After fifteen days, the interrogation officer decided to punish Ola so she transferred her to three different cells on the same day.
During those seventeen days, Ola was transferred at the end of each week to either al-Jalama prison or Asqalan Prison. The reason behind transferring her was the fact that there were no female soldiers at Petah Tikva.
After the seventeen days, a list of charges against Ola was issued, and it included mainly incitement through posts on social media.
Torture in International laws:
Palestinian prisoners and detainees are subjected to torture and ill-treatment from the moment of the arrest, whether soldiers forcibly enter their homes in pre-dawn raids to arrest them, or at military checkpoints, from public streets, or at borders upon travel. While times and places may differ with regards to the arrest of the Palestinian detainees, the policy of physical assaults against the detainees is systematic and practiced in a widespread manner, regardless of age, gender, or health conditions.
According to international humanitarian law, torture amounts to a war crime and when it is systematically implemented and in a wild scale context it would also amount to a crime against humanity.
These policies are in direct contravention of international law, including Article 2(1) of the United Nations Convention against Torture (CAT), ratified by Israel on 3 October 1991, which requires any State Party to prevent the use of torture and associated practices.
The right to be free from torture is a fundamental and non-derogable right, guaranteed to all human beings, regardless of detention status. As a state party to the most essential conventions and treaties protecting this right, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and especially, the United Nations Convention Against Torture,(1) Israel is under unquestionable international legal obligation to ensure that all prisoners are free from torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
Since the beginning of October 2015, Addameer has documented more than 400 cases of arrests of Palestinians, including children, for alleged incitement. The prosecution of Palestinians for social media posts is based on information obtained from the intelligence. The intelligence and prosecution analyze the detainees’ publications by addressing its content, the number of people that interacted with the post (likes and shares), and the comments received. Israeli military and civil courts have issued sentencing against Palestinians exceeding one year on charges of incitement.
Although Freedom of Opinion and Expression is guaranteed under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” (paragraph 1) and that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression” (paragraph 2), the Israeli authorities continue to violate these internationally codified rights through the criminalization of Palestinian expression through social media outlets. These arrests and detentions take place in the context of collective punishment, punitive measures and repression of Palestinians that have long been dehumanized and humiliated by a settler colonial entity.