Prisons Service guards in the security wing of Eshel Prison were shocked on Monday when they discovered that a teenage girl caught trying to enter the prison illegally was none other than Hawla Haniyeh, one of PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's 13 children.
The teenager arrived at the Beersheba prison on a Red Cross-sponsored bus ferrying prisoners' family members from Gaza to the jail's security wing for visits. Prisons Service rules allow only members of prisoners' immediate families to visit inmates.
Guards' suspicions were aroused when Haniyeh offered a birth certificate without a recent photograph as identification. The document belonged to the 15-year-old sister of a prisoner named Abed Haniyeh.
While being questioned, Hawla told investigators that 30-year-old Abed is her fianc . Hawla also informed her interrogators that she was the Palestinian Authority prime minister's daughter, and said that she had already successfully entered the prison on numerous other occasions.
Abed Haniyeh, a Hamas member from the Gaza Strip, is currently serving a 15-year sentence for attempted murder. Prison officials had no previous knowledge of any relationship between Hawla Haniyeh and the prisoner.
Hawla Haniyeh was released from custody Monday evening and was transferred to the Erez checkpoint. Israel Police plan to charge her with presenting false identification.
The PA prime minister, who refuses to recognize Israel, did not offer any comment about his daughter's detention or her release.