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Palestinian girl due to be released in swap returned to jail

Palestinian girl prisoner due to be released in swap beaten by Israeli guards, taken back to jail
2 min read
27 November, 2023
16-year-old Nufuth Hammad, who was due to be released in the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, was beaten by Israeli guards and taken to Damon Prison.
Thousands of Palestinians turned out to welcome prisoners released by Israel as part of a swap with Hamas [Getty]

The family of a Palestinian teenage girl who was due to be released following a hostage swap deal between Israel and Hamas say that she was attacked and beaten by Israeli guards and taken back to prison.

Sixteen-year old Nufuth Hammad, who is from East Jerusalem, was supposed to be released from the notorious Russian Compound detention centre, also known as Moskobia, in Jerusalem on Saturday.

However, her grandfather Aref Hammad told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site that the family had been officially informed by Israeli authorities that Nufuth was taken to the Damon prison in northern Israel.

He said that they had no further information about her.

A total of 39 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, all women and children under age 18, were due to be released on Saturday in exchange for 13 Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported the family’s lawyers as saying she had been beaten by guards after Israel decided not to free her.

Other Palestinian prisoners, who were freed, said that they had seen Nufuth among them before Israeli guards took her out of the waiting area reserved for those about to be released.

She was reportedly taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Israel for medical treatment.

Her father was called by Israeli authorities, spending hours in interrogation, but was prevented from seeing her, according to WAFA.

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He returned alone after midnight after being ordered to leave by Israeli authorities. The family expressed "grave fear" for Nufuth.

The teenager has been in Israeli custody for two years. Two weeks ago, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her alleged part in stabbing an Israeli woman and causing her minor injuries.

Another Palestinian girl, Israa Ghateet, was also sentenced for the attack, but both Ghateet and Hammad have denied the charges. Their lawyers said they had been tortured, insulted, and beaten in prison, and denied food.