Yad L'Achim Rescues Jewish Woman, Children, from Arab Village Near Ramallah


At the "Russian Compound" police station in Jerusalem: the woman and her children, with Mrs. Sari from Yad L'Achim

A Jewish woman and her children were rescued by a Yad L'Achim team from an Arab village near Ramallah last Thursday.

The woman, who was raised in a religious home, had met an Arab who worked in a shopping mall near her home. When she told her parents that she was planning to marry an Arab and move with him to his village, they contacted Yad L'Achim, which arranged a meeting with the village elders. The elders turned a deaf ear to the parents' plea that they try and convince the young man to desist from his plans.

The young woman, for her part, couldn't be dissuaded and, one fine day, abandoned her home, converted to Islam and married the Arab.

Her first surprise came a week after the wedding when she discovered that her husband was already married to an Arab woman – and they had four children. She began to endure daily beatings which didn't ease up even after she bore him two children.

She was for all intents and purposes imprisoned in a building owned by her husband's hamula, and subjected to violence from him and his relatives.

Two weeks ago, the woman succeeded in making contact with Yad L'Achim. In a furtive phone call, she shared that just that week she had suffered a "lynch" whereby she was severely beaten by her Arab husband, his father and brothers, while bystanders cheered them on and cursed her for being Jewish. In the phone conversation, she burst out in tears and said she couldn't take it anymore.

She said she had long ago resolved to leave the village, but was afraid to once again hurt her parents, as her husband's hamula had threatened to seek vengeance against her family if she escaped.

"What can I do," she asked in a desperate voice.

She was advised by Yad L'Achim's security division to document the violence toward her in the days left before her rescue – dates, times, nature of the beatings, who participated – to be used as evidence against the family and to help bring them to justice.

Last Thursday, at daybreak, a rescue team from Yad L'Achim reached the Arab village. Under cover of a large family event being held that night they succeeded in extricating the woman and her children, taking care to evade the security cameras that had been installed in and around the building.

They brought the woman and her children directly from the village to the "Russian Compound" police station in Jerusalem, where they were joined by Mrs. Sari, from Yad L'Achim, who helped her file a complaint and document the evidence of abuse.

Only after the report was filed did the rescuers bring the woman and her children to the head offices of Yad L'Achim where they were treated to a large breakfast and given assistance in opening a new chapter in their lives.

Yad L'Achim expressed its gratitude to the Israel Police investigators at the "Russian Compound" who showed empathy and support for the woman and her children, making the complaint process as smooth as possible.

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