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Women's Voices: Tahani O. - Night raid/arrest

Name Tahani O.
Age 51
Location Anabta, Tulkarm, West Bank
Nature of Incident Night raid/arrest
Date of Incident 8 June 2017


On 8 June 2017, Israeli soldiers raided the home of Tahani, a widowed mother of three. They arrested her son Omar (18). She still doesn’t know what the accusations against her son were.

“My name is Tahani, I am a 51 year old housewife. I have been a widow for 10 years. I live with my three children, Tasneem (22), Israa (20), and Omar (18) in Tulkarm.”


“On 8 June 2017 I was awake for the Morning Prayer, so it was around 4:00 a.m. I heard the doorbell ring. I went to the door and asked who was there and received a reply in Arabic “We are the Israeli military.” All of my children were awake and sitting in the living room. I opened the front door and about 15 soldiers in full military gear entered the house.”


“The commander identified himself in Arabic and ordered me to give him all of our I.D’s. I handed him the I.D’s and he checked them. He then ordered my daughters and I to sit in the bedroom while two soldiers stood in front of us to stop us from moving. They didn’t point their weapons at us.”


“I began to feel extremely scared that they would arrest my son Omar: my daughters were shaking from fright also. The door of the bedroom was open so I was able to see the soldiers spread out across the whole house, but they did not search anything.”


“I was also able to see the commander and one soldier take Omar to his bedroom; I don’t know why they took him in there. After about 10 minutes the commander came into my bedroom and said “We will arrest Omar, come and say farewell to him.” I went numb, but tried to hold myself together for the sake of my children.”


“It was at about 4.30 a.m. (I estimated this time since I could hear the Muezzin at this point) when I said goodbye to my son. One of the soldiers tied his hands behind his back with cable ties. Omar said bye to us as he was taken away by the soldiers. They didn’t tell us the reason for the arrest and we weren’t shown an arrest warrant. I tried to ask the commander the reason for my son’s arrest but I got no reply.


“On the same day, 8 June 2017, at about 9:00 a.m., I went to the Red Cross and asked about Omar (18). They told me the following day, on 9 June 2017, that Omar was held in Jalame prison. A lawyer was sent from the prisoners association to follow the case.”


“The hearing was set for 13 July 2017 at Salam center. I went with the lawyer only to find out it was postponed to 18 July 2017. I attend that hearing too but it was also postponed until 25 July 2017. We still don’t know what Omar’s accusations were?”


“I feel overwhelmed with sadness, I miss Omar a lot.”


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