Update on Minor Girls in Israel Jail

     by Hillel Fendel Update

Seven girls in prison for three weeks

 Girls See Three Weeks in Prison as an Experience in Faith

(IsraelNN.com) What follows is an abridged transcript of an interview with three religious teenaged girls who were released from prison on Monday after sitting in jail for three weeks. Their crime: Attending an outpost-building ceremony outside Beit El and then refusing to identify themselves. The reason they refused: Unwillingness to recognize the authority of a Jewish court system that refuses to allow Jews to settle throughout the Land of Israel.

Following three weeks of harassment by the courts and prison systems, during which even some on the left called for the girls to be freed, they scored a victory in forcing their release without conditions or restrictions – and without identifying themselves.

The girls, all 9th and 10th graders in the Maaleh Levonah Ulpanah Girls High School near Shilo in Shomron, are not permitted to be identified in the media, as they are minors. They are known in this interview as Chana, Tchiyah (Revival), Herut (Freedom) and Yael.

Q. How did you feel when you learned of your release?

Yael: It was totally unexpected. We felt as if it came from G-d alone.

Herut: I had trouble believing we would ever get out. When they actually released us with no restrictions, we saw how G-d is all-powerful. Even things that are beyond all imagination can happen.

Q. After this long period, and the difficult experiences you went through, what do you have to say to the legal system about how they treated you?

Tchiyah: It doesn’t matter what you try to do, G-d is King – and this is not just a slogan.

Yael: As with the Egyptians before the Exodus, the more you try to weaken us, the stronger we will become.

Asked about the harassment they underwent, one said, “One time, a few of us were falling asleep in our chairs, and the policemen kept waking us up, telling us we had no right to sleep… The officer in charge of the prisoners in the N’vei Tirtzah Women’s Prison prevented visitors from coming, and did not give us phone cards. One time, when a lawyer from the Honenu [legal rights] organization came to visit us, the officer lied and told him that we were sleeping. This was very hard for us, because we had been waiting anxiously for that visit.”

One girl said that their first night in jail was particularly difficult: “Border Guard policemen, Druze, spoke to us very not nicely and did very not nice things. Their behavior was very base.” At one point, a male policemen interrupted a session in which they were being physically checked – a clear violation of their modesty. “They did it for no purpose, just to weaken us… But we have our faith, and we are strong. It was clear that it was only to weaken us.”

Yael: When you see how they try to weaken us simply because they were afraid, that strengthened us.

In this connection it is worth noting that when their friends demonstrated outside the police station a few days after their arrest, the police were heard telling each other, “Whatever you do, don’t arrest them!”

Herut: This past Sabbath, after three girls were freed and we remained, it was hard for us that we stayed alone. But then we remembered that everything is from G-d…

Chana: The hardest part is that our friend, who recently turned 18, is still in prison, with no friends. She was arrested two months ago for trying to banish Arab olive-pickers from an area near Elon Moreh, and is being held until the end of the proceedings. She’s freezing at night because they give her just one blanket, there is no plug for a heater, they stole her phone card, and they don’t allow her to bring things in… We are out, but we have to remember that there is another girl who is still there, though she did nothing wrong. We have to yell about this, and we must not rest until she is freed.

Tchiyah: We spoke with the other prisoners at times, mostly about Judaism. Many of them said they knew that Judaism is the right way. It’s precisely in the lowest places that one’s true faith emerges. You can see that they understand that there is a G-d, and it is good for them.”

Chana: There were some prisoners whom we taught to pray, and we brought them prayerbooks.

Herut: One of them said, ‘Look at that, they’re sitting for ideology, while I’m here for selling drugs.’

Yael: They appreciated that we were there because of our principles. Some of them said that they understand us, though they don’t agree. Others really admired our dedication.

Asked if they weren’t negatively influenced by their presence together with convicted prisoners, Herut answered simply, “We were doing the right thing, and G-d protected us.”

Full Article:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125038
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