An international arrest warrant has been issued against an American woman with Israeli citizenship who is currently detained on the Greek island of Crete over charges filed against her in 2014, eight years ago.

The warrant comes after a family dispute over child custody, in which the woman is alleged to have kidnapped their children from her husband, reached the International Court of Justice in the Hague. The woman, who is going by L, claims that her husband abused her and her children.

"In 2014, my children and I fled California due to child abuse, domestic violence, and stalking. All of this has been documented through 12 volumes of court files in San Bernardino County," L. commented. "Every resource available was relied upon to help, but every resource told us there was 'nothing further' they could do. After my two sons asked me to take them away, because it was 'going to be him or us', and after carefully considering what options we had left, we packed our suitcases, court papers, and ran for our lives."

"My sons told me that their father had been using a gun to discipline them, was threatening them constantly, and they couldn’t take it anymore. They had already endured being forced to eat out of the garbage, hit, punched, choked, tied up with belts, rolled up into carpets, Christmas tree netting, yelled at, called names, told they were no good, and forced to live in extremely filthy conditions."

L says that social services had been involved as well, and had officially stated that the living conditions her husband was imposing on the children were unacceptable. "Restraining orders were granted but there were no consequences when he violated the order. He continued to abuse the children, stalk and threaten me, and as a result, we ended up living in our home like prisoners, with 8 security cameras running 24/7."

In 2014, L. and her sons fled the US for Israel. According to L, "They felt safer with rockets flying over their heads during Operation Protective Edge in June 2014 than they did back in the US."

In December 2014, the father presented his own allegations against L. in the Hague, which L. ended up winning when it was ruled that the father presented a grave danger to the children. The decision was appealed seven times in other courts, all of which upheld the verdict.

"Seven different judges ruled that the children were going to stay in Israel," says L. "We had provided the exact same information, documents, and evidence that was presented and ignored in California. Each level of court in Israel gave him the opportunity to reunite with the children, with intervention and support systems in place. He refused, saying he hadn’t done anything wrong and refused to acknowledge the abuse."

L's husband passed away from substance abuse a few years later, but his threats continued until the end. L recounts that he had filed suit with the Child Abduction Unit, demanding she be extradited despite Israel's ordinances protecting her from such a sentence.

"He placed ads in the local newspaper, rented space at the mall and told people that I had kidnapped his children to Israel," she adds. "He left out the part where he had been abusing them and never took responsibility for any of his actions."

L's children have reached the age of 18 and have joined her petition for the extradition charges to be dropped. Despite this, she was arrested upon flying into Crete, and remains incarcerated pending extradition. Her family have appealed to the public to help with legal costs, and to Israel's Foreign Ministry to intervene since she holds Israeli citizenship. The Foreign Ministry commented that they are aware of the case and have been involved in it for some time, and that it is being handled in connection with all relevant authorities.

"I’m an extremely proud mother and know that each of my children is resilient, courageous, and wonderful," says L, who is free to roam Crete as she pleases but is forbidden to leave. "We are a very close family and have experienced a lot over the years but remain optimistic about the future."