Don’t let a young Palestinian mother die in prison
“I will never forget that moment when the soldiers arrested my wife, handcuffing her, and starting to move out of the house with her. I felt paralyzed – unable to give her my hand, unable to defend her. I am her man, her husband, completely unable to protect her. At that moment I wished the ground would open and swallow me.”
These words were spoken by Khaled Budeir, husband of Hiba Budeir. On April 2, Hiba, age 27, was taken from Khaled and their daughters Malak (7) and Yara (5). Hiba is a sweet, very shy young woman who lives for her family, for taking Malak and Yara to play in the park, to bake cakes for family and friends, to do traditional embroidery and to go shopping with friends.
Every night, Israeli Forces raid Palestinian villages and refugee camps, waking children at 2 a.m. to photograph them, ransacking homes, and arresting family members. Malak and Yara have never been without their mom. They are traumatized and spend most of their waking hours crying for her. At night they are awakened by nightmares.
In prison, Israeli intelligence fed Hiba only coffee and chocolate for three days to keep her awake and disoriented, threatening to keep her imprisoned, to exile her to Gaza, away from her husband and children. They coerced her into signing a document in Hebrew (which she doesn’t understand). They won’t let her take the medications from her doctor. Because of an allergic reaction, she refuses their medications even though she is in extreme pain.
Hiba is charged with “being in the presence of activists” when she visited her family in Gaza last fall. The court sentenced her to four months in prison and told Khaled to pay 8000 shekels (US $2220). If he cannot, the court will add another month to her sentence for each 1000 shekels he is short. Her release date is August 8 if the money is paid by the second week in July. Khaled also needs another $900 for legal fees. Khaled does not think Hiba would survive another eight months in prison due to her illness. Her weight was already below 49 kilograms (108 lbs) at her arrest; she has lost a lot more in prison.
Khaled’s permit to enter Israel has been revoked and he has been blacklisted. Hiba is being held in an Israeli prison near Haifa. Israel refuses to allow her children and husband or other relatives to visit her.
PLEASE HELP! Your contribution will help reunite Hiba with her husband and children. Please send tax-exempt donations to
Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund
405 Vista Heights Road
El Cerrito, CA 94530
or use the PayPal button below: