During my lunch break recently I walked past a group of people who were staging a protest in Central London against the detention and care of a Palestinian woman called Lena Jarboni who is being held at the HaSharon Prison. I picked up a leaflet out of interest and have since done some research into the prison and Lena's cause. My conclusion - why has the world not heard of her before?
Lena Jarboni is now 40 years old (only) and has been in prison for the past 11 years. Her crime - according to the Israelis - was 'collaborating with the enemy'. After being arrested she was tortured for 30 days. She has suffered from severe health problems as a result of her incarceration. Lena can no longer walk, suffers from extreme pain in her stomach and has constant migraines. She needed an essential stomach operation but the prison refused to transfer her to hospital. After the other women prisoners went on strike to support Lena's case she was taken to hospital but her condition is going downhill.
The conditions in HaSharon prison are, from the reports I have read, despicable. The cells are overcrowded, dark, airless, dirty and overrun with rats and cockroaches. Women are denied adequate and clean food, sanitary pads and suffer from sexual harrassment and sexual violence. If the women so much as spill water they are beaten and left tied to their bed for a day and half.
How can this be happening in this day and age?
The Spectator magazine on 1 February 2014 published an article titled 'Israel's A-bomb' which states that Britain and America are of the opinion that Israel will 'face international isolation as a pariah state that denies rights to up to 2.5 million Arabs' if it does not agree to an independent Palestinian State. This 'A-bomb' is the word apartheid. The US would like to see an independent Palestine state and the deadline for talks to come up with a legitimate outcome is April 2014. The world will be watching.