Khitam Saafin is a well-known international advocate for Palestinian women and freedom and justice for the Palestinian people. She has spoken around the world about the struggle of Palestinian women, including at the World Social Forum, and served as chair of the Global Women’s March Palestine.
She was detained and ordered by an Israeli military commander to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, on 9 November 2020. The President of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), Saafin was seized by Israeli occupation forces from her home in occupied Beitunia along with six other Palestinian activists and human rights defenders on 2 November 2020. She was originally ordered to six months in administrative detention, which was reduced to four months following a legal battle. However, her detention was extended – once again, arbitrarily, without charge or trial, for another four months on 25 February 2021. On February 16, 2022 an Israeli military court sentenced Khitam to 16 months in prison, along with a fine of 1,500 Israeli shekels (USD 460). This is not the first time she was targetted-- she was also arrested by Israeli occupation forces in 2017, when she was ordered to three months in administrative detention — leading to a global outcry.
On 6 May 2022, the Israeli Prison Services (IPS) released Khitam from prison after spending 18 months between administrative detention and imprisonment.