An anonymous tip led Palestinian authorities to a residence in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. Inside they found Baraa Melhem, 21, who had been held captive by her own father. Melhem was held in a small bathroom that measured 1 ½ meters. She had been confined in the tiny space since the age of eleven.
Melhem told police that she was allowed out of the small room only at night. The only reason she was allowed to leave the bathroom was to clean the house.
Her father and mother are divorced. Melhem told the media that she had not been in contact with her mother since her confinement to the bathroom. After the arrest of the father, the two women reunited. Melhem is staying with her mother.
Her father has dual citizenship in Palestine and Israel. The man was arrested and handed to Israeli authorities. He is scheduled to appear in an Israeli court on Wednesday. The father admitted to a “family dispute” between him and his daughter. He also admitted to confining his daughter and feeding her a diet of bread.
Melhem alleges that her father stated; “people are monsters.” He beat her and encouraged her to commit suicide. Melhem’s only connection outside of the small bathroom was a radio.