Poet Dareen Tatour is a Palestinian citizen of Israel who is currently under house arrest while awaiting trial on charges of incitement to violence and support of terrorism. She was arrested in October 2015 after posting her poem “Resist, My People, Resist Them” on Youtube. The final hearing in the trial took place on April 27, 2017. Tatour remains under house arrest while awaiting the verdict, which is expected to take several months.

Case History

On October 3 and 4, 2015, Dareen Tatour posted a video to her YouTube and Facebook accounts with audio of her poem set to images of Palestinians clashing with Israeli security forces. On October 4, she posted a news item on Facebook from the website Islamic Jihad that had called for a “continuation of the intifada” in the West Bank. On October 9, a photograph of Isra’a Abed, an Arab-Israeli woman carrying a knife who was shot by security officers in the Afula train station, was posted on her Facebook page, captioned with the phrase “I will be the next martyr.” Shahid, an Arabic word for martyr, is sometimes translated as those willing to commit acts of terrorism like suicide bombings; many Palestinians use the word to refer to victims of Israeli state violence. On October 11, Tatour was arrested, and on November 2 she was indicted by Israeli prosecutors on two charges: incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization, which could result in an eight-year prison sentence.

In an interview with the Israeli daily Haaretz, Tatour said, “I am against all violence. But it is my right to ask why you [Israel] killed those you killed. There is no law in the world that prohibits me from stating my opinion.” Tatour’s defense claims that the evidence against her centers on a mistranslation of her poem. The prosecution has objected to Tatour bringing an alternative translation before the court, despite the fact that several alternative versions of the poem produced by qualified literary translators exist. Tatour is one of some 400 Palestinians in Israel who have been arrested for posts on social media since October 2015.

The trial has been continuously postponed in the hope that Dareen will agree to a plea deal. At a hearing on November 17th, the court allowed modest improvement in her conditions under house arrest including the removal of her electronic bracelet and allowing her to work.