Dalal Abu Amneh, a Palestinian neuroscientist and singer, was arrested by the Israeli police on Monday, October 16, 2023. She is one of many Palestinian figures with Israeli citizenship who have been arrested and questioned for being against the war in Gaza, “harming IDF morale”, and posting about charities.
Abu Amneh, who holds a PhD in neuroscience from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is a renowned singer of classical Arabic music and Palestinian folk songs. She has performed in many festivals and concerts around the world and has won several awards for her artistic and academic achievements.
According to her lawyer, Abu Amneh was detained at her home in Nazareth, a city in northern Israel with a large Arab population. She was taken to a police station for interrogation, where she was accused of inciting violence and supporting terrorism through her social media posts.
Abu Amneh’s posts included criticism of the Israeli military aggression in Gaza, which has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and injured over 10,000 since May 2023. She also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people and called for an end to the occupation and oppression. She also shared information about charities that provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, such as the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and the Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Abu Amneh’s lawyer said that she denied any wrongdoing and defended her right to freedom of expression. He said that she was not involved in any violent or illegal activities and that her posts were motivated by her humanitarian and moral values. He also said that she was subjected to harsh and humiliating treatment by the police, who tried to intimidate and silence her.
Abu Amneh’s arrest sparked outrage and condemnation from many human rights organizations, activists, artists, and academics. They denounced the Israeli authorities for targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel who opposed the war and supported the Palestinian cause. They also demanded the immediate release of Abu Amneh and all other political prisoners.
Abu Amneh’s case is not an isolated one. According to Adalah, a legal center that advocates for the rights of Palestinians in Israel, more than 2,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested since May 2023 for protesting against the war or expressing their views on social media. Many of them have been charged with incitement, terrorism, or harming state security.
Adalah said that these arrests are part of a systematic campaign by the Israeli government to suppress dissent and criminalize dissenting voices among the Palestinian minority in Israel. Adalah said that these arrests violate international human rights law and the principles of democracy.