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Women's Voices: Zahra Q. - Night raid/arrest

Name: Zahra Q.
Age: 51 years old
Location: Old City of Jerusalem
Nature of Incident: Night raid/arrest
Date of Incident:
October 2016

On 2 October 2016, Israel police raid the house of 51 year old woman from the Old City in Jerusalem at 1:45 a.m. and detain her for a few hours and later hand her an exclusion order banning her from entering the Mosque. 

Zahra is a 51 year old woman who lives on her own in the Old City of Jerusalem and works as a nurse at the clinic inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“On 2 October 2016, at around 1:45 a.m., I arrived home after a family gathering at my brother’s house. As I was changing my clothes I heard unusual sounds outside the house. I looked out the window and saw Israeli policemen. A short while later they pointed their flash lights into my house.”
“Shortly afterwards I heard loud banging at the front door. When I asked who it was, someone responded telling me to open up. I asked to be given a minute to put my clothes on but the person responded that I should open the door immediately.”
“I quickly got dressed and when I opened the door I saw about 15 Israeli policemen accompanied by a woman in civilian clothes. The woman entered the house first and asked me if I lived alone and I said yes. Then she told me to show my Identity Card and I did.”
“The woman took my Identity Card and told me I was under arrest but didn’t give me a reason. In the meantime my brother who lives nearby heard the commotion and came to check on me but the policemen prevented him from entering the house. My brother had an argument with them as he tried to enter the house and I lost my temper and started to yell and shout at them. Then they held me to try to control me and we ended up pushing each other, but I wasn’t hurt.”
“The police made more arrests that night and I was taken to a police station inside the Old City together with another man who was arrested at the same time as me. About 15 minutes later I was transferred to another police station near Jaffa Gate.”
“At the Police station at Jaffa gate, the police officer wanted to scare me and told me I was arrested upon orders from the chief commander of the area who instructed them to exclude me from Al Aqsa Mosque where I work as a nurse at the clinic there. They accused me of being a trouble maker.”
“At around 3:30 a.m., I was released. My brother was waiting for me outside the police station and I went home with him.”
“On that same morning at around 10:30 a.m., a summons from the police was delivered to my house. I went to the police station and the police handed me an exclusion order from Al Aqsa Mosque. The exclusion order was valid from 2 October 2016 until 2 December 2016 and I was accused of disturbing law and order.”
“This exclusion order which was handed to others too comes at the time of Israeli religious holidays so that the settlers can perform their religious rituals in the Old City around the Mosque.”

“Working as a nurse at the clinic inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque means a lot to me and it is a terrible feeling to be able to see the Mosque from my house and yet be banned from entering it.”

keyword: Jerusalem Women | Night raids