Woroud Qasem: Very Dangerous and Free

Qasem spent four years in prison between investigations and courts until charges were filed against her in 2010. (Photo: Al-Akhbar)

By: Fadi Abu Saada

Published Saturday, August 11, 2012

Resistance activist Woroud Qasem was given a hero’s welcome by her family and friends on Thursday upon being released after six years in an Israeli prison.

The occupation forces classed the young woman as “very dangerous” and charged her with several crimes, the most serious of which was attempting to carry out a guerrilla operation in a restaurant in the city of Raanana.

Her full name is Woroud Maher Qasem. She was born in Tira Bani Saab in the southern Galilee Triangle on 20 June 1986. She was the youngest of the family, with three brothers and a sister. She studied and lived in Tira where she graduated from the Ibrahim Qasem high school in 2004. She worked for two years before she decided to go to college.

In an interview with Al-Akhbar, Woroud confessed to experiencing mixed feelings after her release. She said: “I feel great joy, a feeling I cannot describe and a sentiment that only someone who is released from prison could know. I have finally returned to my home and my family and friends’ embrace. But I won’t hide the fact that this joyful feeling is mixed with sadness for the fellow detainees I left behind in prison.”

Woroud adds: “Among those I bid farewell to are prisoners that were arrested before the Oslo Agreement ,but the world has not lifted a finger for them. These prisoners have spent their lives in prison not for personal ends but to defend the cause of the Arab nation. They should be given their most basic rights, but I think the world neglects the cause of political prisoners.”

Woroud, like all female prisoners in Israeli prisons, suffered tremendously, especially before court appearances and during transfers from one prison to another. She spent time in several prisons. The first was the infamous Ramla Prison, the second was HaSharon Prison and finally Damon Prison. She described how her bed in the Ramla Prison was a “cement block” and she was rarely able to get a blanket. If she did, it would be unfit for use.

“You have to quickly adapt to the new prison you are transferred to, its harsh conditions and new management,” she says. Woroud and fellow prisoners were attacked by the Nahshon unit responsible for controlling prisoners. Filing complaints against these attacks came to nothing.

Qasem says that the occupation forces always mixed political prisoners and prisoners with criminal convictions. This made life even harder when she and her companions were the targets of their curses and insults.

During her imprisonment, Qasem suffered greatly because of the policy of medical neglect. After several years in prison, she developed a stomach condition which made her throw everything she ate. She lost a lot of weight and became gaunt due to lack of medical care. She also suffered from severe toothache.

She made several requests to be transferred to a hospital for treatment but the occupation forces would always try to bargain with her for her medical needs. For example, they offered her treatment if she would agree to three months solitary confinement, an offer she rejected even though she suffered from bone and joint problems.

Woroud was also subjected to repeated assaults when she was brought to the District Court in Tel Aviv by the guards who always prevented her from talking to her parents. They would attack her and drag her by the handcuffs and chains that shackled her hands and feet. This would happen in front of delegates from human rights associations without any of them taking action.

When she was arrested, Woroud was working in a mall. The occupation forces closed all the roads leading to the mall and blockaded it from all sides. They asked Woroud to accompany them calmly and without resistance after they handcuffed her. She was taken to her car in the parking lot where they seized everything in it.

That was in October of 2006 during the month of Ramadan. Woroud was fasting and it was almost 4:00 pm. Seven hours after her arrest, the occupation authorities informed her family that she had been detained for an investigation. They also arrested two of her female friends but they were released that same day.

She spent four years in prison between investigations and courts until charges were filed against her in 2010. The most prominent charge was planning to blow up a restaurant in Raanana, transporting an explosive belt that weighed 7 kilograms and detonated through a mobile phone and shooting at the Liaison Office in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. She was also charged with cooperating with the enemy, belonging to a hostile and terrorist organization, and recruiting members for hostile groups. She was sentenced to six years in prison and a suspended two year sentence.

The Israeli judges and the public prosecutor considered her “very dangerous” because she has Israeli citizenship. She constitutes a danger to the state because she is free to move in the occupied territories. During her imprisonment, many extremist zionist parties called for her family to be forced out of their town and deprived of all their rights, but they failed to achieve their goal.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

Comments

Zionist savagery has no equal, even Nazis treated people far more humanely. Zionists will never succeed in making their enclave into a country. It will always remain a shithole.

Hi Abu Umar- you lose in the battlefield, the classroom, office suites, operating rooms and laboratories and you think that having babies will subsume the Jews? guess what? the Arab birthrate fell drastically after Israel stopped paying allowances, while Jewish rate actually went up. Jewish immigration is up and so is return of Israelis living abroad. Arab emigration is up and birthrate is falling in West Bank. Gaza is no longer a cancer on Israel's body so let them multiply (though their numbers are down too).
60,000 Arabs from areas in Galilee and Negev have moved into Jewish areas where their kids go to Hebrew speaking schools, salute the Israeli flag and learn about Sukkot. thousands are leaving West Bank and moving into Jewish West Jerusalem (next to al Jazeera, which was forced out of East J'lem for reporting on Pal corruption). check out the cafes in the West and hear Arabic (and laughably, their kids singing Hebrew nursery rhymes).
good luck on your fantasies.
really- trying to win a war with babies. please.

Keep your Hasbara nonsense for the Western Goyim and I already responded to your hypocrisies and lies:
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/lebanese-boycott-israel-purely-cosm...
All your points such as your military superiority or supposed "moral superiority" or that the Palestinians are "barbaric savages" are moot and don't address why the Palestinians should roll over and forget that your ilk forcibly expelled hundreds of thousands of them from their homeland, and razed hundreds of their villages, and brazenly lied about this for decades, then your ilk has the audacity to be outraged that the Palestinians are still lying around and a thorn in the side of the Zionists.

"you lose in the battlefield"

Slowly as your Arab poodles like Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan fade, the equation will change. You couldn't even defeat Hezbollah in Maroun ar-Ras and that is why your generals are threatening to deliberately target civilian areas in future wars.

", the classroom, office suites, operating rooms and laboratories"

Send the Palestinians the tens of billions in aid that Israel has received, then you can gloat.
http://www.juancole.com/2012/07/dear-mr-romney-palestinians-are-poor-bec...
And Jewish superiority in these fields ignores why Palestinians should give up on their homeland.

" and you think that having babies will subsume the Jews?"

You mock this issue yet you gloat because of the rising Jewish birthrate just like you mocked the economic boycott yet you have no problem when Israel does the same thing. Yes, I think the demographic changes, among other points such as the fall of your poodles in the Arab world, will allow the Palestinians to return their homeland, and we have seen this happen in other parts of the world like the American Southwest, which was conquered by the Americans from the Mexicans. And yet in the past decades, without firing a bullet in military aggression, the Mexicans and Hispanics through higher birthrates and massive immigration are slowly taking over the Southwest, despite American edge in military and economic power and White triumphalism has been replaced by White handwringing and the situation is even more dire for the Zionists. Also your objections on the demographic threat are moot considering what your leaders and elite have said about this.

"guess what? the Arab birthrate fell drastically after Israel stopped paying allowances, while Jewish rate actually went up. Jewish immigration is up and
so is return of Israelis living abroad. Arab emigration is up and birthrate is falling in West Bank. Gaza is no longer a cancer on Israel's body so let them multiply (though their numbers are down too)."

The demographic statistics in all of Palestine don't bode well and soon the Palestinians will edge the Jewish population, if they have't already done so, and your fanciful take on the statistics is similar to "a land without a people for a people without a land".

"check out the cafes in the West and hear Arabic (and laughably, their kids singing Hebrew nursery rhymes)."
Nothing wrong with Hebrew nursery rhymes, soon you will be singing Next Year in New York instead of Jerusalem.

"good luck on your fantasies.
really- trying to win a war with babies. please."

My "fantasies" are what your leaders, politicians and policy makers have been warning about for decades, even Ben Gurion in his time, rued not expelling all of the Palestinians, and this stark reality is a bitter pill to swallow for a Jewish shabeeh like yourself.

Your ilk have defended people who have done much worse and the only one crazy is the one who expects the Palestinians to go quietly in the wind after they were expelled from their land and occupied their lands, but alas, it was a Pyrrhic victory, and the Palestinian demographic tsunami will shatter your Zionist hopes.

She tried to murder people having dinner in a restaurant. Her parents and family members continued to get free health care and education at Israeli institutions (and welfare as well).
And the "zionists" are the bad guys because they did not give her a Hyatt Hotel to live in?
Israel is truly surrounded by crazies.

Wow! "Health care and education you say, old man. How kind of Jews to provide all this for their citizen.

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