At the time, as now, Palestinians who were detained by the IDF were later charged with crimes they did not commit in order to justify their detention.
Charged with bombing a supermarket, while in prison, Odeh was tortured with electrical shock and raped with batons. Her father was tortured in front of her.
IDF personnel even attempted to make her father rape her.
She was beaten regularly with metal rods, kicked, threatened, humiliated, denied medical care and access to a bathroom, and almost needless to say, was denied access to legal resources.
She was made to watch a Palestinian man literally tortured to death.
She eventually signed a confession to stop IDF personnel from continuing to torture her father.
In March 1979, Odeh was finally released with 60 other prisoners as part of a prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier. Shortly thereafter she traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, where she gave testimony regarding the torture she suffered at the hands of the IDF.
At the end of the narrative of her torture and imprisonment by the Israelis, she said, “It may have been 10 years, but it felt like 100 years.”
Odeh lived in Lebanon after that, then Jordan, until in 1994 she was able to move to the United States to live, since her father was a US citizen.
Ten years later, she became active in the Arab-American community in Chicago, and became the deputy executive director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), a community-based nonprofit that provides social services and advocacy, campaigns against anti-Arab discrimination, and organizes for the Arab-American community in the greater Chicago area.
Then, in 2013, 19 years after arriving in the United States and nine years after receiving US citizenship, Odeh was indicted by the US government and charged with immigration fraud, stemming from other charges pulled from her 35-year-old IDF file.