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Women's Voices: Afaf H. - Night raid/arrest

Name Afaf H.
Age 54
Location Tel, Nablus, West Bank
Nature of incident Night raid/arrest
Date of incident 25 July 2017

On 25 July 2017, Israeli soldiers raid the home of 54 year old Afaf. The soldiers arrest Qutyba, her 20 year old son, without presenting an arrest warrant. The family is left distressed, not knowing about the well-being of Qutyba.

“My name is Afaf and I am 54 years old. I live in Tel with my husband and our two children, Qutyba (20) and Ali (18). My married Son Omar (30) lives in an independent house with his family.”

“On 25 July 2017, at 2:30a.m., I checked the time from the clock hanging on my wall, my son Qutyba woke me up to tell me that Israeli soldiers were inside the house. I lost my mind and got dressed quickly. Qutyba told me that he had been up watching television with Ali, when he had heard a slight knocking on the main door of the house. Once he had opened the door, he had been greeted with Israeli soldiers.”

“My husband and I went out to the living room and I saw about 15 soldiers, all in full military gear. The commander presented himself and told us to sit in the living room; three soldiers stood to guard us, pointing their guns towards us to prevent us from making any movement.”

“The commander asked my husband how many children we had and their names. He then asked about Qutyba, and took Qutyba to his bedroom. The rest of the soldiers were spread all over the house. They didn’t search the house, only stood around.”

“The commander left Qutyba’s bedroom door open and I was able to hear him from the living room; he was asking Qutyba about his mobile phone and his age. The commander then told Qutyba that he was going to arrest him.”

“When I heard the commander I became nervous and yelled at him, asking him what Qutyba had done for them to arrest him. The commander didn’t answer me. I broke down but I tried to hold myself together, and look strong in front of my family. One of the soldiers brought in Qutyba and tied his hand behind his back with plastic ties. I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye, or give him clothes.”

“At about 3:00a.m., as I again checked the time from the clock hanging on the wall, the soldiers withdrew from the house, arresting Qutyba.  They didn’t hand us an arrest warrant, or give us a reason for the arrest.”

“That same day, 25 July 2017, at around 9:00 a.m. my husband informed the prisoner’s association NGO about Qutyba’s arrest. The next day, 26 July 2017, the NGO called and informed us that Qutyba was detained at the Huwwara military point, and that they would hire a lawyer to follow up the case.”

“Accordingly Qutyba’s first hearing on 27 July 2017, and up until this point we don’t know anything about him or what his accusation was as Omar went to attend the hearing.”

“I am scared for my son, I can’t handle being away from him. I can barely sleep at night worrying about Qutyba and all I wish is that he is released soon. I miss my son.”

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