During the afternoon of 9 October 2017, Khadija’s son came to her and told her that Israeli soldiers were standing outside their house. Shortly after, soldiers broke into the house with the commander saying that they want to arrest Khadija. The occupation forces did not allow her to change her clothes, but searched her and took her to the jeep where she was handcuffed and blindfolded.
She was held under interrogation from then until 15 October 2017, when she was given her first administrative detention order for the period of three months ending on 8 January 2018. However, her order was renewed for another three months, ending on 7 April 2018. That said, it is highly likely that her order will be renewed again.
Khadija lives in Yatta, which is located south of Hebron City. She is married with six children, four girls and two boys. Her oldest is a 16-year-old girl, and the youngest is only three years old. All of her children are currently with their father except for the youngest who spends her days with either Khadija’s mother or sister.
Khadija Khalil suffers from an irregular heartbeat. Israeli detention centers do not meet the relevant medical standards for people with such chronic illness.
In the occupied Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli commander for the area is authorized to issue administrative detention orders against Palestinian civilians on the basis of Military Order 1651. This particular order allows occupation authorities to detain an individual for up to a six-month renewable period if they have “reasonable grounds to presume that the security of the area or public security requires the detention.” On or just before the expiry date, the detention order is frequently renewed. This process can be continued indefinitely.
This practice of arbitrary detention is a grave violation of international laws and human rights standards, particularly articles 78 and 72 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which state that an accused individual has the right to defend him/herself. This also violates Article 66 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the basic standards of fair trial. Furthermore, according to article 78, there are strict conditions for allowing administrative detention to be used. Such as using it for only imperative security threat situations, as a last resort and it is also advised to be used as a form of house arrest. The Israeli occupation forces does not abide by any of these condition, as a result, the administrative detention used against Palestinians is illegal and amounts to arbitrary detention.
Addameer believes Khadija’s detention violates international fair trial standards since administrative detention orders are based on secret information. Therefore, her legal representatives are unable to fully address the prosecution’s argument that the individual in question poses a security threat.
Palestinian women are held in HaShron and Damon prisons inside Israel, which means that they are illegally transferred from the occupied West Bank and Gaza into Israel. The illegal transfer of prisoners amounts to a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that “persons accused of offenses shall be detained in the occupied country.” It also amounts to the deportation of protected persons which, under article 49 of the same convention, is a war crime. There are further implications resulting from this crime, such as the difficulties children face in order to visit their mothers. Children, just like all Palestinians who wish to visit their detained relatives, face a long and arduous process. It includes applying for a permit, long hours of traveling, being searched and finally having to see one's mother from behind a glass.
Furthermore, mothers under international humanitarian law are provided with special protection. This protection is ensured by several articles is the Fourth Geneva convention, for example, article 89 mentions special and extra services need to be provided to mothers and pregnant women in occupied territories. Other articles place a special attention to the age of children. As such, article 50 of the same convention states that this special attention should be given to mothers of children under the age of 7. Furthermore, in cases of detained mothers, article 76 (2) from Additional Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions states that those mothers should have their cases considered with the highest priority.
In the case of Khadija, the Israeli occupation forces did not only commit a war crime by deporting her and detaining her in Demon prison, but Khadija’s children are also suffering through the process of visiting their mother. Her youngest is only 3 years old, but still, Khadija’s case was not considered a priority. Rather, her detention is completely arbitrary.