Palestinian ex-prisoner Anhar al-Deek gives birth days after release from Israeli jail

Palestinian ex-prisoner Anhar al-Deek gives birth days after release from Israeli jail
Palestinian ex-prisoner Anhar al-Deek gave birth to her second child surrounded by family after Israeli authorities bowed to public pressure and conditionally released her from jail just days before.

3 min read
10 September, 2021
Anhar al-Deek was arrested in March for allegedly threatening to stab Israeli settlers at an illegal outpost [Getty]

Palestinian ex-prisoner Anhar al-Deek gave birth to a boy on Thursday, just days after Israeli authorities conditionally released her from jail. 

The 25-year-old was arrested in March, and while detained garnered widespread public support for her release so she could give birth at home. 

Bowing to public pressure, last week an Israeli military court allowed al-Deek to return to her family near Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on condition she remained under house arrest with 24-hour surveillance and paid a $12,500 bail. 

“I was always thinking about how I would recover from giving birth alone with no one by my side, not my husband, no one from my family. Those were the hardest moment,” she told Al Jazeera days before the birth. 

Her son is called Alaa and is al-Deek’s second child. 

The Palestinian is charged with threatening to stab Israeli settlers at the illegal outpost of Sdeh Ephraim, constructed on land belonging to the al-Deek family, according to reports. 

One settler at Sdeh Ephraim, Eitan Ze’ev, whose wife is the alleged victim of al-Deek’s alleged assault, has been on trial over the past year and a half for the wrongful shooting of multiple Palestinians, according to the Times of Israel.  

While detained, al-Deek was interrogated and sometimes placed in solidarity confinement. 

She suffers from depression, according to her family. 

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) initially ruled that she would have a Caesarian operation in an Israeli hospital while handcuffed and under anaesthetic. 

Family and lawyers campaigned for her release on humanitarian grounds. 

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A letter from al-Deek published on August 25 while she remained in Israel's Damon prison captured attention around the world, highlighting her plight and that of other Palestinian women forced to give birth in Israeli prisons. #SaveAnharAldeek has been trending on social media. 

“Oh Lord, I yearn for your mercy. I am exhausted, and I had severe pains in my legs due to sleeping on the prison beds,” she wrote. 

Since 1972, there are around eight cases of Palestinian women giving birth in Israeli prisons. 

Aisha al-Deek, Anhar’s mother, told reporters she was “so happy [her daughter] is among us, I can now take care of her in a good way, will feed her well and help her with her baby.

“If Anhar delivered her baby at the prison it would have been like a funeral for us, but instead today our happiness is indescribable by receiving the new baby among us.”  

Al-Deek's trial will continue as the charges against her remain.