Among these thousands of Palestinian prisoners/detainees there is a small group, which grows with every month, of very courageous and patient prisoners. These prisoners have been locked up inside Zionist dungeons for over 25 years!
They are truly the “Generals of Patience” and they endure this long and harsh captivity because the love of Palestine is strong in their heart and because the belief in the justice of their cause is as strong as the first day of imprisonment. The Zionist torture couldn’t break them and the Zionist dungeons couldn’t break them. According to “Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum” signed on 04.09.1999, all Palestinian prisoners/detainees arrested by Israel prior to 04.05.1994 shall be released, nevertheless, again confirming the futility of negotiations with the Zionist entity, Israel refuses to release these detainees and they are excluded from prisoner exchange deals. These dungeons are graves for the living, prisons spent more inside them than outside them. Some spent their youth in Zionist dungeons; Palestinian children tortured by Zionist terrorists and tried as adults, and held captives indefinitely.
They were robbed of their childhood by Zionists who had destroyed their homes, killed their friends and threatened their families. Some left their children as babies behind to hug them later in jail cell or talk to them behind bars as grown up men and women. They were deprived of seeing their children grow up, deprived of holding them, playing with them, taking them to school, talking with them, quarrelling with them, celebrating with them, crying with them. Some left their parents and siblings behind, their parents punished and their homes demolished. They were deprived of the morning talk with their mother, deprived of working the land with their father, they were deprived of Palestine. They weren’t allowed to attend their children’s wedding, nor their parent’s funerals. They were neither allowed to share the joy nor give comfort and words of consolation. Some aren’t allowed to see their families, others aren’t allowed to see anyone. And some left the darkness of these Zionist dungeons to lie in the darkness of the graves. Imprisonment couldn’t break their free spirits, so the Zionists broke their captive bodies.
And while the Zionist entity remembers Shalit, an occupation soldier, every day, and whines about him every minute, him being a soldier who was on a mission to kill Palestinian civilians, our heroes who sacrificed their freedoms for our freedom, for our dignity and for our Palestine are often forgotten. We know that there are thousands of them in Israeli jails, but do you know their names?
Do we even know the names of 10 of them?
Do we know the names of the prisoners from our towns, villages or refugee camps?
Have we ever wondered what they are doing while we eat, drink, work, celebrate? We only remember them on occasions and during campaigns, when we should remember them every single day. In the mornings, when we wake up in our homes amongst our families and loved one, we should remember that Palestinian prisoners wake up away from their families and loved ones, wake up on dirty ground in cold cells. During the day, when we go to work, go to university, go shopping, we should remember that Palestinian prisoners are locked up in cells, in dungeons, many are isolated and have only contact to their executioners.
When we sit with the family or with loved ones, laugh with them, cry with them, hug them or fight with them, remember that Palestinian prisoners are deprived of their loved ones, they are deprived of their parents and their siblings, of their partners and their children, and of their friends and comrades. They are only allowed to see those whom the executioners approve of, one parent or one of their children, for less than an hour and without guarantees that a second visit would ever be approved. And yes, we have our share of the suffering, and we are under occupation and we are held captives in our own homes, towns and land, and every aspect of our lives in controlled by our occupiers, we are an occupied nation, but that doesn’t mean we forget Palestinian prisoners/detainees who are deprived of their families, of their lives and of Palestine.
They are not just figures in a list, they are not just statistics to be added to reports. We will never do them justice, will never be able to thank them enough for their sacrifice, but the least we could do is remember their names, know a little bit about their lives, where they come from, what their hopes were and what their wishes for the future are, we should remember their suffering and tell them every day that there will never be freedom for Palestine without the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners/detainees.
And to their parents I say: your children are not forgotten. They are in our hearts and minds for they are our fathers, brothers, and comrades.
Following is a list of the “Generals of Patience”; 26 Palestinian and one Syrian prisoners who have spent over 25 years inside Israeli dungeons and are still captives of the Zionist entity (the last three will be finishing 25 years in a couple of weeks). I collected as much information as I could find on every prisoner. It is disappointing that there is very little information on some of the prisoners except their date of birth, place of birth, date of detention and sentence.
Note: According to Palestinian prisoner sites, and unless otherwise indicated, a life sentence = 99 years.
“Generals of Patience”
53 years old, from Silwan, Jerusalem, in prison since 30.01.1981 (29 years, 9 months, 11 days – total days: 10878). Received 3 life sentences and 11 years for practicing his legitimate right to fight the Zionist occupation of his homeland and for defending his family, home and country.
Fouad was born on 09.12.1957 and was detained when he was 23. Upon his arrest he was tortured to confess but he didn’t, so his parents were detained to force Fouad to confess, which he didn’t. His parents weren’t released except after his mother’s health condition deteriorated. Upon her release she was transported to hospital. Then they detained his mother a second time and his sister and both were taken to the interrogation room where Fouad was held.
The interrogators told him: “if you don’t confess, you know what will happen to your sister and mother”. His sister Nabila immediately told him: “don’t worry Fouad, you’re not the first to be detained and won’t be the last they will detain, be patient.” Upon which the soldiers took Nabila and her mother and locked them up in a room for 12 hours. Also his brothers and sisters were continuously detained to force him into confessing. For 7 years, Fouad wasn’t allowed to see his mother, and all his requests for a visit were rejected. Finally, after human rights organizations intervened, while on her deathbed, his mother was given a special permit to visit him. She was brought on ambulance bed to the prison visiting room to see her son for the last time and say goodbye. She was frail and connected to tubes. She hadn’t been able to talk for some time, but when Fouad hugged her, she said: “May God be pleased with you.” He had only 40 minutes with him mother. A few days later she died.
5 Ibrahim Fadel Naji Jaber
56 years old, from Hebron, in prison since 08.01.1982 (28 years, 10 months, 4 days – total days: 10535). Received 3 life sentences for practicing his legitimate right to fight the Zionist occupation of his homeland and for defending his family, home and country.
Ibrahim was born in 1954. He is married and has 4 children, the eldest was 6 years upon his arrest and the youngest was born after his arrest. His children were not allowed to visit him in jail except rarely, so his wife visited him all the time and would spend up to 15 hours on the road, checkpoints until she reached the prison.
Ibrahim met his eldest son in jail, when both were imprisoned in same cell. His son recalls how his father used to hug him several times every day, place his son’s head on his lap and talk to him and treat him as if he were a child, as if he wanted to compensate for the lost time. His son recalls: “I felt how much pain he was in for being far away from us. When I was released he cried, cried out of happiness and cried because we will separate.”
6 Hasan Nimir Ali Salma
7 Othman Ali Hamdan Misleh
58 years old, from Az-Zawyeh, Nablus, in prison since 15.10.1982 (28 years, 25 days – total days: 10255). Received life sentence for practicing his legitimate right to fight the Zionist occupation of his homeland and for defending his family, home and country.
Othman was born on 13.06.1952. He is married and has 7 children, the youngest of whom was few months old upon their father’s arrest.
Not only did the Israeli occupation forces deprive the children of their father, they also demolished their family home after Othman’s arrest. He was tortured during interrogation, which is a common practice of the Zionist entity.
Later, his children followed in his footsteps and 4 of them were imprisoned but didn’t have the chance to meet their father in jail.
He lost his father while in jail and didn’t have the chance to say goodbye. He is one of the leaders of the prisoner movement and joined numerous hunger strikes demanding better condition for Palestinian prisoners. His family is only allowed to visit him once a year.
8 Sami Khaled Salameh Younis
9 Karim Yousif Fadil Younis
53 years old, from ‘Ara, in prison since 06.01.1983 (27 years, 10 months, 6 days – total days: 10172). Received life sentence for practicing his legitimate right to fight the Zionist occupation of his homeland and for defending his family, home and country.
Karim was born in 1958. In an interview, his mother said that the worst thing for parents is seeing their children behind glass and not being able to touch them. She remembers how during visits when her eyes would tear, he would ask her if he was annoying her and would ask her to be proud of him.
She recalls how much he loves maqloubeh and mlukhiyyeh dishes and that whenever the family is gathered, they are always sad because he is missing. She adds that the conditions of Palestinian prisoners get worse by the day, for example, family members aren’t allowed anymore to bring their children certain food items during visits such as olive oil, olives, rice, clothes of all types, tea, coffee and stuffed vine leaves. So the prisoners are forced to buy their own food and water and other necessities such as soap and cigarettes for extremely high prices from the prison canteen (a sort of prison shop) which means a canteen allowance for every prisoner of at least 1300 Shekels every month. His mother never stops hoping that he will return home: I imagine that he will be released, and I am sitting in this very chair, and the door opens without anyone knocking, Karim enters opening the door widely to hurry and hug me, I scream out of happiness until I almost faint.
10 Maher Abdel Latif Abdel Qader Younis
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian
Haza’ As-Sa’di and Othman Bani Hassan were friends and comrades since childhood, grew up together, played together and went to school together. At the age of 17 years they witnessed the incident of poisoning the water tanks of the girls’ school in Jenin by a number of collaborators. Many girls were poisoned. Both boys rushed to help transport the girls to hospital and the suffering they witnessed affected them deeply. A short while later a friend of theirs was killed by the Israeli occupation forces.
Both incidents caused them to join the resistance. Upon arrest, both boys were less than 17 years old, nevertheless they were tortured. The Israeli military court postponed their court sessions one time after the other until they were 17 and tried as adults. Othman received 2 life sentences while Haza’ received 1 life sentence and 20 years. They were often isolated. Once, during transport from Jneid prison to Nafha prison, the Israeli soldiers started provoking and mocking Haza’ and Othman. Both, despite being handcuffed, were able to beat one soldier. The other soldiers attacked them and they were placed in isolation and their family visits were cancelled for a while as punishment.