Saturday 18 April 2015


MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israel may start sending arms to Ukraine in response to Russia’s decision to lift its five-year embargo on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to Iran, NRG reports Tuesday, citing unnamed Israeli military source.

According to NRG, the Israeli regime has not made any decisions yet on sending weapons to Ukraine.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian president in a phone conversation that the planned delivery of the S-300 missile systems to Iran will undermine stability in the Middle East and increase Tehran’s belligerence.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the embargo on delivery of the S-300 systems to Tehran.The deal between Russia and Iran on the delivery of five S-300 PMU-1 systems worth $800 million was agreed on eight years ago, but was suspended by then President Dmitry Medvedev after the UN Security Council slapped Iran with an arms embargo over concerns that Tehran was making weapon-grade uranium to use it in warheads.Russian top diplomat Sergei Lavrov said earlier that the ban had become obsolete, citing progress in the nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers that will eventually see UN sanctions phased out.

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The Unveiling of Israel’s Hidden Alliance With Al-Qaeda in Syria

Sedqi al-Maqet, a Syrian activist who lives in the Israeli-occupied part of Syria known as the Golan Heights was interned after a dawn raid on his home by Israeli secret police at the end of February. Until quite recently, the Israeli media was absolutely banned from mentioning his case at all, even from referring or linking to foreign press reports on the issue.
Al-Maqet is a Syrian Druze from Majdal Shams known for his media activism and support of the Bashar al-Assad regime. He had published information online (including via his Facebook account) about contacts he said he had witnessed between Israeli armed forces in the Golan and what he termed terrorists active in the Syrian-controlled sector of the Golan.
As I have noted in this column before, Israeli military spokespeople have now admitted to what the reports of UN peace-keeping forces in the Golan have been implying for some time: Israel has an active alliance with the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria.
Although al-Qaeda as a movement has a history of making hostile statements against Israel (and statements of an anti-Semitic nature) it has never been involved in much in the way of military confrontations against the Zionist state. Al-Qaeda has historically had two main focuses: US military and civilian targets, and military and civilian targets within Arab states (often specialising in brutal sectarian attacks against those it considers false Muslims).
Since the Nusra Front took over a key checkpoint in the Golan in the summer, it has not gone unnoticed by Arabs that Nusra has completely avoided attacking Israeli military targets in the region. The Qunaitra crossing stands between the Israeli-occupied and the Syrian-controlled sectors of the Golan – Nusra has held it since August.
UN peacekeepers have observed regular contacts between Nusra forces in the area and the Israeli troops stationed on the other side of the ceasefire line (Israel has illegally occupied part of the Golan since 1967). They also observed cargo of an unknown nature passing between the two sides from the Israelis.
More recently, when an army spokesperson talking to the Wall Street Journal confirmed Israel’s aid to al-Qaeda, it was shown that it also took the form of treating Nusra fighters in Israeli field hospitals near the ceasefire line and then sending them back to fight against the government of Syria. (Some defenders of Israel have claimed this is no different from how it supposedly treats any enemy fighter in its hospitals. But there is a crucial difference: fighters from Hamas or Hizballah captured by Israel would be sent straight to jail after hospital discharge.)
Now, thanks to the extreme risks al-Maqet took, we know a little more about this secret Israeli war in Syria. Its tactical alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria has been exposed, and the Shabak, Israel’ secret police force, is none too happy about it.
Al-Maqet posted a video online, which was later aired on Syrian TV, containing his commentary to camera on what he said he had seen in the Golan: a meeting taking place between the Israeli occupation forces and the terrorists, as he put it.
Although the Israeli media was at first banned by military decree from covering the story, the Hebrew-literate American blogger Richard Silverstein has covered the story in detail. He was the first journalist to report al-Maqet’s arrest. It was likely in part thanks to his work that the gag order was partly lifted (it did little to stop the story getting out onto the internet in any case).
Silverstein has seen a copy of part of the indictment against al-Maqet. Although some of the charges remain secret, most of the ones we know of relate to posting comments and videos to Facebook and YouTube. As Silverstein put it in a detailed summary of the case for Middle East Eye this week: “Al-Maket may be the first individual accused of spying through social media. Along with a description of the content of the posts, the clerks in the Shabak or prosecutor’s office have taken the trouble to compile the number of Likes, Shares and YouTube clicks his posts obtained.”
Al-Maqet was detained without access to a lawyer for ten days, and the military court eventually ruled that he must use a lawyer with a high-level security clearance (in other words he has to use a former Israeli military officer as a lawyer … as his defender in a military court).
The amount of trouble that Israel’s Deep State is going to in order to shut this man up is deeply emblematic of the state’s fundamentally anti-democractic nature. It also shows that, the more press coverage there is of Israel’s alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria (it has been pretty much ignored by mainstream media to date) the more Israel is sensitive to the facts being exposed.
After all, by aiding al-Qaeda in Syria, Israel is by providing material support to a group that it itself defines as a terrorist organization, as do the US and British governments.
Scouring Hebrew media, Silverstein also found last year that Israel established “a Camp Ashraf-style Syrian rebel encampment just inside Israeli[-occupied] territory” in the Golan Heights. Israeli media have even filmed the camp, as video on Silverstein’s blog shows. (Camp Ashraf was the former base of the MEK, an Iraq-based group that was backed by the US and Israel and used as a proxy force in a terrorist war against Iran).
With ISIS, the so-called “Islamic State”, currently battling it out for control of Yarmouk, the Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, this issue has become even more important. The Nusra Front has reportedly put aside some of its differences with ISIS, and allied with the group in Yarmouk, allowing it to take over much of the camp.
Israel. Nusra. ISIS. The capture of Yarmouk. The alliances in the war in Syria grow ever more strange and complicated.
The internment of al-Maqet likely shows that Israel is beginning to get a little worried that the reality of its alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria may eventually start to break through to mainstream media in the west. So far, the media has shown little interest in the story, but that is not guaranteed to hold true.
An associate editor with The Electronic Intifada, Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London.

 The ‘Facebook Spy’ Who Exposed Israel’s Support for Syrian Rebels

April 7, 2015
In 2012, Israel released the longest-serving Arab security prisoner, Sedki al-Maket, from prison. He had served 27 years on charges of planning a terror attack. Al-Maket, age 48, is a resident of Majdal Shams, the major town in Israeli-occupied Golan.
On gaining his freedom, he turned to fighting Israel’s 45-year occupation of the Golan. Al-Maket is an ardent supporter of the Assad regime and views Syria as his homeland. As such, he embraces Assad’s ally, Hezbollah, and those supporting liberation of Israeli-occupied territory in Lebanon, the Golan or Palestine.
Since his release, he has not engaged in violence or armed struggle. He has made speeches, written articles in the Arab press, posted to social media, and blessed armed struggle without participating in it. In addition, the security services claim al-Maket scouted IDF activities in the Golan, especially army aid offered to the Syrian Islamist rebels associated with al-Nusra.
It’s been widely reported in VICE News, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and elsewhere, that Israeli commando forces enter Syria to liaise with Syrian rebels, and that the IDF provides medical treatment in Israeli hospitals for wounded Islamist rebels, and that the army supplies the rebels with crateloads of military equipment and supplies. PressTV has published photographs of daytime meetings between the IDF and Syrian militants. The Israeli mediavideotaped a camp for Syrian rebels inside Israel-held territory.

Video showing IDF-Nusra meeting

In February, after possibly being tipped off by an IDF soldier, al-Maket produced a video in which he described – without showing it – a nighttime meeting between the IDF and al-Nusra commanders. The Golani activist then arranged for the video to be aired on Syrian state TV.
 photo maket1_zpsz0wl7lez.jpg
That was the last straw for the Israeli security apparatus. They could tolerate pro-Syria social media agitprop, but using the Syrian media to embarrass the IDF went one step too far. I reported in my blog in late February, based on a confidential Israeli source, that al-Maket had been secretly arrested by the Shabak. His arrest was placed under gag. Outside of Syrian media, I was the only journalist who revealed his arrest. No Israeli media could report anything regarding the case.
Subsequently, a number of other alleged “co-conspirators” in what the Israeli media has come to call a Syrian “spy ring” were arrested. One of them was a Druze IDF soldier, Corporal Hilal Halaby, from Daliat al-Carmel (near Haifa). In his case, I was the first journalist to report his arrest thanks to information conveyed to me by a confidential Israeli source, which was under gag as well. Only in the past few days have the security services lifted this gag and reported that Halaby is being charged with aiding and abetting the “notorious” pro-Assad spies.
Haaretz reported on the charges against Al-Maket. There are scores of them, most of which involve aiding a terrorist organisation, contact with an enemy agent, and aiding an enemy in time of war.  Considering that there’s been an armistice in force since 1973, it’s hard to understand how Israel is at war with Syria.

Embarrassing charges against Israel

The indictment also indicates that many offenses remain secret and are not even known to al-Maket’s former attorney, Labib Habib. But Habi did say that he believed these were activities which exposed IDF collusion with al Nusra. As Israel doesn’t wish the world to know it’s collaborating with an Islamist militia allied with al Qaeda, these charges are the most embarrassing and potentially explosive.
Habib also told me that he was denied contact with his client for 10 days. During that period his interrogators tortured him. Among the methods they used according to the defence attorney, were slaps to the face and severe shaking. All of these methods have been prohibited by the Israeli Supreme Court except in circumstances of extreme exigency in order to prevent an imminent terror attack. Such was not the case in al-Maket’s detention. But that makes little difference since the Supreme Court, unlike in other democratic countries, cannot force the security forces to obey its directives. It can only rule and hope it will be obeyed. It often isn’t when it comes to national security suspects.
As I wrote above, al-Maket chose attorneys to represent him in his legal proceedings. But thesecurity forces chose to invoke a rarely used rule (Hebrew) that demands a security prisoner be represented only by defence attorneys with a high-level security clearance. This demand is a feature of the military justice system. But al-Maket is a civilian, albeit not a citizen. Instead of being judged under civilian law, he will be judged under a hybrid system of civilian-military law. The defence minister invokes principles from military law when he needs them.

Denied choice of counsel

There are two problems with this approach. The first, obviously, is that a basic right of a defendant is to have counsel of his choosing. Second, in order to get a security clearance, a lawyer generally has to have served either as a military prosecutor, or in some legal capacity with the police or security services. That means these lawyers are already inclined to offer broad leeway to their former bosses and to absorb the lessons of their previous employment. They are known, in many cases, as being pliant in the face of the state’s demands. Since very few Israeli Palestinians serve in the IDF, there are few such attorneys with security clearances. This means al-Maket will have to choose a Jewish attorney who likely possesses a military or intelligence background. Not an auspicious start to a legal defence.
Attorney Habib filed an appeal of the judge’s decision to compel al-Maket to hire a lawyer with a security clearance. The appeal was scheduled to be heard by Supreme Court Justice Salim Jourbran, the only Israeli Palestinian justice serving on the High Court. After an appeal by the state, Justice Jourbran was removed and replace by a Jewish justice. If you’re detecting a pattern, it’s no accident. The deck is always stacked against security prisoners in such cases. The defence often doesn’t see the evidence against the accused and doesn’t get to cross-examine witnesses. Judges are extraordinarily obeisant before the altar of national security. Generally, since convictions are guaranteed, defendants agree to plea deals, which sometimes reduce the sentence by half of that which an outright conviction would bring.
The state prosecutor has circulated the partial indictment against the detainee which includes scores of charges, though scores more remain under seal and may not be reported in Israel. I’ve obtained a copy of the partial charge sheet. He’s accused, beginning in 2014, of acts of espionage, supporting a terror organisation, making contact with a foreign agent, and aiding an enemy in time of war.

A ‘spy’ using social media?

There are a number of extraordinary things about the indictment. Perhaps foremost is his espionage consists mostly of posting comments and videos to Facebook and YouTube. Al-Maket may be the first individual accused of spying through social media. Along with a description of the content of the posts, the clerks in the Shabak or prosecutor’s office have taken the trouble to compile the number of Likes, Shares and YouTube Clicks his posts obtained. Does Shabak measure a spy’s success by the number of Likes he has?
In addition, I’m confused about why a spy, whose activities presumably are meant to be secret, would make use of a very public form of communication: social media. Or is Israeli intelligence accusing Syria and al-Maket of pioneering new forms of espionage previously unknown?
The prosecution accuses the pro-Syria Druze of posting material he knew would aid Syria. But if this is true and it did aid the enemy, why did the Shabak allow him to continue with such activities for over a year? Why is his Facebook account still publicly accessible? Presumably, if al-Maket’s activity endangered Israeli security it could make a reasonable case to Facebook to close it. Apparently, it either hasn’t approached Facebook, or if it has, it couldn’t persuade the company of the danger. If it couldn’t persuade Mark Zuckerberg, why should it persuade the Israeli public?
If al-Maket is truly a Facebook spy, he had about as much success as Russian spy Anna Chapman. Rather, he was much less a spy and much more a deliberate irritant of the Israeli security services.  Israel is one of the few nations calling itself a democracy that imprisons enemies of the state merely for irritating the country’s intelligence apparatus.
The IDF itself has not been shy about exploiting social media to convey its message to the world. It even used Twitter instead of the convention press statement to announce the start of Operation Pillar of Defence and to boast about the assassination of Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari. If Israelis can boast about murdering Palestinian leaders why can’t a man oppose Israeli occupation of his homeland on Facebook?

Fox News exposes Israel’s Syria actions

Foreign journalists too, reporting from the Golan, have published stories similar to al-Maket’s. Fox News even filmed an Israeli commando unit returning from a field operation inside Syria. According to a confidential Israeli source, they were rallying Syrian Druze to fight against the Assad regime. Since Fox News, like Israeli media, is subject to IDF censorship, we can assume this report was approved by the military. If a foreign journalist can report this, then why can’t a Golani Druze?
Many of the charges note that the Druze activist often toured the Golan area near the armistice-line between Israel and Syria and then posted to Facebook the results of his trips. He recounts seeing IDF military personnel leaving crates on the border for delivery to al-Nusra militants. He notes, in one case, that an IDF column made its way toward a village in the Syrian Golan, thus violating Syrian sovereignty. One charge notes that al-Maket found several gates in the fence which were unlocked, presumably to allow access either for the IDF into Syria or the Syrian rebels into the Israeli-held Golan. In effect, al-Maket is revealing lapses in Israeli security on the border to Israel’s security services, who were monitoring his Facebook postings.
The prosecution manages to twist this activity into scouting weaknesses in Israeli security which would allow a Syrian terrorist to infiltrate Israel and attack. To my knowledge, no Syrian has ever infiltrated Israel to commit an act of terror since before the 1967 war. Why a Syrian dictator fighting for his life against domestic rebels would want to take the trouble to open a new front against Israel is hard to explain.

Posting pictures now a crime

Another charge claims that the Golani Druze posted pictures of burning IDF vehicles hit by Hezbollah rocket fire. Two soldiers were killed in the attack, which was in retaliation for Israel’s air attack on an Iranian convoy days earlier which killed an Iranian general and Hezbollah commanders. The prosecutor says that al-Maket’s display of the burning vehicles and his support for the retaliation against the IDF are tantamount to incitement to terror. Supposedly, social media postings encourage new acts of violence.  This may be one of the first times someone has been accused of fomenting terrorism for posting a picture online.
Nowhere in the indictment does the state argue that al-Maket engaged in violence or took up armed struggle. He merely voiced support for resistance to Israeli occupation of the Golan and Palestine. While it is true that he praised armed struggle, including the forces of Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, he never engaged in any act remotely connected to it. He didn’t plan a terror attack, he didn’t meet with anyone planning such an attack.
The defendant faces decades in prison on these charges. There is little chance he will be found innocent.  The only unknown is – will he cut a deal with the state offering a “reduced sentence” of a decade in jail or go to trial and face a sentence of multiple decades. Most take the deal.

Setting a precedent

Israeli Jews would, if they were smart, worry about the precedent this arrest sets. If al-Maket can be jailed for social media activism, anyone can be charged for reporting on Facebook virtually anything about the IDF or security services which they prefer remain secret. Of course, there’s a distinction between Jews and non-Jews and Jewish citizens would likely be treated with more discretion.
Al-Maket and his fellow Golani Druze find themselves in an awkward position. Like East Jerusalem, they have been annexed by Israel in violation of international law. And also like Palestinians from East Jerusalem, they’ve refused to take Israeli citizenship in protest at Israel’s occupation. Because they are not citizens, they have less rights under Israeli law. Yet the idea of resistance to Israeli conquest and occupation is no less important to them. If they do protest, even non-violently as in the case of al-Maket, they face torture, conviction and decades separated from loved ones in an Israeli prison.
– Richard Silverstein writes the Tikun Olam blog, devoted to exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. His work has appeared in Haaretz, the Forward, the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times. He contributed to the essay collection devoted to the 2006 Lebanon war, A Time to Speak Out (Verso) and has another essay in the upcoming collection, Israel and Palestine: Alternate Perspectives on Statehood (Rowman & Littlefield).
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Sayyed Nasrallah Salutes Yemen Steadfastness: Time to Tell Saudi to Stop!

Sara Taha Moughnieh
Sayyed Nasrallah
Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah reiterated Friday Hezbollah's full support to the Yemeni people in the face of the barbaric Saudi-US aggression on Yemen, reassuring that even if it took some time, the Yemenis will eventually triumph due to their courage and steadfastness.

In a statement Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered in a ceremony held in Sayyed Al-Shuhadaa complex in solidarity with Yemen, his eminence reassured that "it is our humanitarian, moral, and religious duty to take this stance and the whole nation must take a similar stance, because we will be asked about this by Allah."

Sayyed Nasrallah noted that "since we are now in April, we must remember the sacrifices and steadfastness of the Lebanese and southern people in the face of the Israeli aggression in 1996," adding that "this stand paved the way for the victory in 2000."

Returning to the Yemeni file, Sayyed Nasrallah refuted claims that the attack on Yemen " was for defending Yemen's Arabism". He rather asked: "Did the Arab people authorize the Saudi regime to wage war on Yemen? Moreover, If the Yemeni people were not Arab than who is?"

"The Yemenis don't need to give evidence that they are Arabs, before Islam they were the original Arab culture, when people of the Arabian Peninsula didn't even know how to read... Yemeni scholars and businessmen brought Islam to Indonesia, one of the largest Islamic countries... Yemenis don't need to give evidence that they are Arabs or Muslims, and whoever assaults the Yemeni people should be the one who's Islam and Arabism should be examined," he added, stressing that "they have tried to give a sectarian aspect for the war, claiming that it is a Sunni/Shiite war, but this is not true. It is a Saudi war for political reasons..."

Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that "one of the funniest headlines I have read in the past couple of weeks was "In defense of the Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina"."

"Who is threatening the two Holy Mosques? The Yemeni people? The Yemeni Army?" he asked, adding: "These are the people who mostly love the prophet and his household... The only people threatening the Holy Mosques are students of the Wahhabi schools in Saudi Arabia and ISIS, one day a suicide bomber from this school will make an operation there, because they consider that the Kaaba is just a pile of stones being worshipped rather than Allah".

"After the Saudi Monarchy emerged, its Wahhabi followers destroyed religious and historical heritage related to the prophet, from houses to graves, forts, and everything... There was even a decision to destroy the prophet's grave, and history proved that, but the Islamic world stood up against them back then," Sayyed Nasrallah further stated, emphasizing that "the Holy Moque is under threat and we don't know when they would destroy it."

On another level, Hezbollah secretary general noted: "Another goal behind the war, according to Saudi claims, is defending the Yemeni people... Is besieging 24 million Yemeni and keeping them without food and medicine, and committing massacres against women and children, a way for defending the Yemenis?"

He asked the Lebanese to remember July war and observe the resemblance between the Saudi war on Yemen and the Israeli war on Lebanon.

"We were the adventurers and the triumphant then," he added, and assured that "while they claimed that their goal was to prevent the Yemeni Army and the Public committees from reaching Aden, they failed in that, and provinces have become under the control of the Yemeni Army now and Al-Qaeda is withdrawing."

In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah reassured that "they wanted to break the will and subjugate the Yemeni people, but the result was a great steadfastness, firmness, patience, demonstrations, and strength by the Yemeni people and Army."

"The aggression failed in transferring the war into a sectarian or regional one, and Saudi has failed in its aerial aggression. The only choice it has now is land incursion in Yemen, so let us see what the Saudi Army will do then," he added.

His eminence stated that "until now, the Yemenis have not chosen their response, and waiting until now is a strategic patience by the Yemenis."

Furthermore, he considered that "the Saudi regime does not seem to be ready for any settlement despite the fact that most of the countries are against this aggression because it will not make any achievement."

Based on that, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that the only outcome from the war on Yemen will be the defeat of the invaders, and expressed gratitude to the Pakistani Parliament for preventing the Pakistani Army from fighting in Yemen.

Moreover, he called upon Pakistan and Egypt to put an end to the destruction of an Arab and Islamic country, and demanded the intervention of all the Arab and Islamic countries to stop this war and save Yemen from this intended catastrophe.

On another hand, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that "some people in Lebanon consider that criticizing Saudi Arabia is an insult. I tell them that even though we have always been aware of the Saudi role in the Lebanese civil war, in the Syrian crisis, and its direct intervention in Bahrain, we have always called for dialogue, but today Saudi has declared war... and it is time for the entire Arab and Islamic world to stand up for Saudi Arabia and demand it to stop!"

His eminence emphasized that "the biggest loser from the latest developments in the region is Palestine, and the biggest winner is Israel and Netanyahu."

In conclusion, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the Lebanese saying: "Some in Lebanon are wagering on Yemen's defeat in the face of this assault, and are drawing their future based on that. I remind them that they have previously wagered on the fall of the Syrian regime, and here it is still firm five years later. I further assure to them that we must not transmit the incidents of Yemen to Lebanon, and rather express our opposite opinions in the appropriate way."

Source: Al-Manar Website
17-04-2015 - 21:11 Last updated 17-04-2015 - 21:11 

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‘A Bad B-Movie': Ken O’Keefe Discusses US-Iran Nuclear Deal & Other Issues

Congress is apparently doing everything in its power to kill any agreement reached between the US and Iran, and with the Obama administration now entering into a “compromise” with congressional hawks on the matter, prospects for a final deal are looking pretty slim. The Senate bill, approved yesterday, seems to have been passed pretty much at the behest of AIPAC, and one Israeli official, Yuval Steinitz, has even come out and called it “an achievement for Israeli policy.”

The Iran nuclear discussions have been a charade, little more than “a bad b-movie,” as Ken O’Keefe calls them in the above interview. “See? We offered the Iranians a good deal and they turned it down”–what are the chances we’ll be hearing words of that sort used as a justification for an attack upon Iran at some point in the near future? You have to give the Israeli lobby credit for persistence. They’ve been trying to get this war started for the past ten years or so. What are the odds they’ll finally succeed? And what of Iran’s acquisition (after a five year delay!) of the Russian S-300 anti-missile system? How will that factor into the war makers’ plans? I guess time will tell.

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Freedom for Palestine; Freedom for Palestinian Political Prisoners held captive in Zionist Dungeons

Palestinian political prisoners © google images

They meet behind Zionist bars; fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and students, friends, neighbours, townspeople, relatives, comrades. They unite in their defiance of injustice; men, women, children, elderly…. none of them a stranger to the other, none of them a stranger to us, none of them a stranger to Palestine. They are held captive in dungeons, denied the air of Palestine, denied the sunrise and the sunset, denied the laughter of a family member, denied the tear over a martyred comrade. They sacrificed their freedom willingly, so the children of Palestine may enjoy a life free of occupation and oppression. They are buried alive in grave-like cells, so the future generations of Palestine may enjoy the sunrise over the mountains of Jerusalem and Safad, the fresh breeze over the meadows of Jenin and Bisan, the wind playing with the waters of Gaza and Acca. But, it is not they who are captive, for they have chosen to fight for freedom… it is us, who walk this land shackled by a brutal occupation. It is not they who are the living dead, for they live in dignity that defies the jailor… it is us, who walk in life content with less than full liberation and justice. It is not they who lost years in vain behind bars, for they teach generation to come the meaning of sacrifice and steadfastness… it is us, who waste our lives in pursuit of a false freedom and a false statehood. It is not they who are deprived of Palestine, for they have chosen to be one with Palestine… it is us, who betray Palestine when we go on with our lives while 6500 Palestinians are held captive. It is not they who are unknown, for Palestine knows her devoted children, every town, village and refugee camp in Palestine knows them, every house in Palestine knows them, every child in Palestine knows them…. It is us, who have yet to earn the honour to have our names recorded with those of the heroes of Palestine. They are the lovers of freedom, the defeaters of oppression, the heroes of Palestine. They struggle every minute, every hour, every day. They are steadfast in the face of Zionist inhumanity and world betrayal. They fight for our freedom every day, and in return we remember them only on the 17th of April. Palestinians Prisoners’ Day should be every day. They should be remembered every minute of the day, for they fight for us every minute of the day… their families suffer every minute of the day… they suffer for us every minute of the day. We will only be free when ALL Palestinian political prisoners are free… for they have chosen Palestine and they have chosen to sacrifice their freedom for the freedom of all of us.

Palestinian political prisoners © google images

According to various statistics and report, since 1967, the Zionist entity held 850,000 Palestinians captive, including 15,000 women and tens of thousands of children. Since 2000, more than 85,000 Palestinians were held captive by the Zionist entity, including more than 10,000 children and 1200 women, 65 MPs and former PA ministers and 24,000 administrative detainees. Administrative detention is detention without charge or trial, issued by Israeli occupation commanders, and is usually between one and six months, often renewed for several times, in many cases for more than 10 times. The Palestinian Detainees Committee reports that there are currently 6500 Palestinians held captive in 22 Israeli jails, detention and interrogation centres, including 25 women (among them 4 minors), 205 children, 480 administrative detainees, 20 journalists, 13 MPs and 1 former minister. Imprisoned MPs are: Ahmad Saadat, Khaleda Jarrar, Marwan Barghouthi, Abdel Jabar Fuqha, Hasan Yousif, Mohammad Natsheh, Mohammad Bader, Aziz Dweik, Azzam Salhab, Nayef Rjoub, Husni Bourini, Mohammad Abu Ter, Riyad Haddad. Among the prisoners, 480 are sentenced to at least one life term, the highest being that of Abdallah Barghouthi with 67 life sentences and 5200 years. The Committee reported a noted increase in the abduction of Palestinian children in the last four years, whereby 3755 children were kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces (IOF), including 1266 kidnapped in 2014. During the first quarter of 2015, 1059 Palestinians were kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces: 397 from Jerusalem, 304 from Hebron, 195 from Ramallah, 130 from Nablus, 91 from Jenin, 81 from Bethlehem, 43 from Qalqilya, 38 from Tulkarim, 12 from Salfit, 6 from Jericho, 3 from Tubas and 54 from the Gaza Strip. Additionally, more than 200 children were kidnapped by the IOF. It is worth mentioning that 85 Palestinians freed in the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and the Zionist entity in 2011, were kidnapped again, 63 of whom are still detained, and Israeli occupation military courts returned the sentences for 38 of them:

– Jerusalem: Ala’ Bazian, Naser Abed Rabbo, Rajab Tahhan, Ibrahim Mish’al, Jamal Abu Saleh, Adnan Maraghah, Ismail Hijazi, Salman Abu Eid from Biddo.
– Ramallah: Nidal Zalloum, Bushra Tawel, Ibrahim Shalash, Rabee’ Barghouthi from Kobar, Khalid Gethan, Ibrahim Masri from Shuqba.
– Nablus: Hamzah Abu Arqoub, Taha Shakhsher, Ahmad Hamad from tel, Zahir Khatatbah, Nidal Abdel Haq.
– Hebron: Mahmoud Sweiti, Ismail Masalmeh, Abbas Shabaneh, Ma’ath Rmouz, Hamid Awawdeh.
– Jenin: Waheeb Abu Ar-Rub and Mohammad Haj Salah from Qabatya, Imad Musa, Samir Mahroum, Mu’ammar Ghawadrah, Abdel Rahman Salah.
– Tulkarim: Ashraf Wawi, Mo’ayyad Jallad, Abdel Min’im Tu’mah, Majdi Ajouli, Ayed Khalil from Qiffen, Mohammad Barakat from Anabta, Amer Miqbil.

– Imad Abdel Rahim from Salfit.

Palestinian prisoners are subjected to torture, abuse and medical negligence in Israeli jails. Statistics show that 100% of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees were subjected to at least one form of torture, mainly physical, abuse, humiliation and denial of their basic rights. 95% of Palestinian children held captive by the Zionist entity said they were subjected to torture, abuse and mistreatment. Since 1967, 206 Palestinian political prisoners were killed by the IOF, including 71 due to torture, 54 due to medical negligence, 74 executed by IOF after arrest, 7 shot dead by IOF and Israeli prison guards. Additionally, tens of Palestinians died shortly after their release of severe ailments they suffered during their captivity, including 22 year-old martyr Ja’far ‘Awad, who died on 10.04.2015. Palestinian prisoner rights organizations and sites report that more than 1500 Palestinian prisoners suffer from various ailments and diseases, mostly due to torture, abuse, bad conditions within the over-crowded and damp cells, and are subjected to a systematic medical negligence by the Israeli Prison Authority. 160 of these prisoners suffer from chronic diseases, with 80 of them suffering from chronic diseases and currently being in a critical condition, 25 suffer from cancer, and tens are physically and psychological disabilities. Also, 17 Palestinian prisoners are semi-permanently held captive in the so-called “Ramleh Prison Clinic”: 1) Shadi Daraghmeh, 2) Iyad Ridwan, 3) Mansour Muqadeh, 46 years old, 4) Riyad Imour, 5) Mutaz Ibeido 34 years old, 6) Salah Titi, 23 years old, 7) Yousif Nawaj’ah, 48 years old, 8) Nahidh Alaqra’, 43 years old, 9) Daoud Abu Hayyeh, 10) Kifah Hattab, 11) Ashraf Abu Alhuda, 35 years old, 12) Amir Ash-Shammas, 13) Fouad Shobaki, 14) Tha’er Halahleh, 15) Ami As’ad, 16) Mo’tasim Raddad 32 years old, 17) Khalid Shawish, 40 years old.

Palestinian political prisoners © google images
Among the over 6500 Palestinian prisoners/detainees, there is a group, which grows with every passing month, of very courageous and patient prisoners. These prisoners, called the “Deans of Prisoners”, have been locked up inside Zionist dungeons for over 20 years! These prisoners continue to be held captive despite signed agreements with the Zionist entity to release them. According to “Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum” signed on 04.09.1999, all Palestinian prisoners/detainees arrested by Israel prior to 04.05.1994 should be released. Nevertheless, again confirming the futility of negotiations with the Zionist entity, Israel refused to abide with the agreement, and postponed their release time after time, then released a number in three groups, to gain more concessions from the PA. 30 prisoners detained prior to 1994 still remain captive in Zionist jails, including 14 from Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, 9 from West Bank, 5 from Jerusalem (4 carry West Bank IDs), 2 from the Gaza Strip.

Among the 30 prisoners, 16 have spent over 25 years in Israeli captivity. These 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. 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. Note: According to Palestinian prisoner sites, and unless otherwise indicated, a life sentence = 99 years.

1. Karim Yousif Fadel Younis, 56 years old, from ‘Ara/’Ar’ara. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.01.1983 (32 years, 3 months, 11 days – total days: 11,789)

Palestinian political prisoner Karim Younis © google images

Karim was born on 24.12.1958 in ‘Ara/’Ar’ara and has 3 brothers and 2 sisters. He finished high school, and enrolled in Bir As-Sabi’ university at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. During his 3rd year at the university, Karim was kidnapped to an interrogation cell, and was accused of resisting the Israeli occupation. After 27 court sessions, he was charged with membership in Fateh, possession of weapons and killing a Zionist occupation soldier, and sentenced by the Lyd occupation military court to be hanged. This verdict was later reduced to one life sentence. During his imprisonment, Karim enrolled in the Open University at the Dept. of Political Science and International Relations. He also wrote an article in the 1990s on the Oslo Accords, refusing this agreement and stating that it will lead to nothing. At the time, some of his comrades in jail disagreed with him and he decided not to publish the article. Additionally, he published a book titled “The Other Reality of Israeli Parties” in which he exposed all Israeli political parties. Currently, Karim is considered the longest serving political prisoner in the world. He is also considered amongst the prominent leaders of the prisoner movement and its symbols, as he fought a battle with the Israeli prison administration against separating Palestinian political prisoners from Palestinian areas occupied in 1948 from those from areas occupied in 1967. Karim represented the prisoners many times and participated in all prisoner protest actions and hunger strikes, and was several times punished with solitary confinement.

Karim lost his father two years ago, and the Israeli prison administration denied him the chance to say farewell to him. His mother Subhiyeh Younis participated in all prisoner-related activity until she became too ill and too weak to participate. In an interview she talked about her relationship with her son: “…A relationship of never ending longing and nostalgia for a meeting I hope will happen soon.” On his detention she recalls: “On the night of 05.01.1983, after 2 am, we heard violent knocking on the door. My husband opened the door and I was standing behind it; soldiers pushed me inside and asked for Karim. We said he is at the university in Bir As-Sabi’. After searching the house, they didn’t find him and left. That very same night they kidnapped Sami, and the next day they kidnapped Karim from the university, and kidnapped Maher and accused the three of killing an Israeli soldier …. We found a lawyer who asked for very high expenses, and after 27 court sessions over a year, Karim and Maher were sentenced to be hanged. This verdict was meant to destroy us emotionally and psychologically, and when they brought them for us to see them, they were dressed in red clothes and their hands and legs cuffed. We hired another layer and the ruling was changed to life sentence. Subhiyeh considers herself imprisoned like her son, and says that the worst thing for parents is seeing their children behind glass and not being able to touch them. She used to visit him every two weeks, and had to travel from 4 am to see him, and endured the suffering and degradation from the Israeli occupation soldiers and jailors as long as she gets to him. She remembers how during these visits, when her eyes would tear, he would get annoyed and threaten to cut the visit, and would ask: “Did I annoy you? Don’t you consider me a hero? Aren’t you supposed to be proud of me instead of crying for me? Aren’t you the one who believes that prison is for men, did you change your mind now?” 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.

Subhiyeh says that even the chair she sits in is bored with waiting for Karim; “I miss my son in a way I cannot describe, I long to hold him and hug him, and I fear most to collapse the minute I meet him, and that my legs will not hold me and I lose my balance and faint.” She 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.” She recalls: “Often I asked him: do you remember the way to our house? He would laugh and say: how could I miss the house, and it is very easy? It’s on the main road, opposite the bus station.”

2. Maher Abdel Latif Abdel Qadir Younis, 57 years old, from ‘Ara/’Ar’ara. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 18.01.1983 (32 years, 2 months, 30 days – total days: 11,777)

Palestinian political prisoner Maher Younis © google images

Maher was born on 09.01.1958 in ‘Ara/’Ar’ara, and has 1 brother and 6 sisters. After finishing primary school, Maher attended the agricultural school in Khadera. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers and was accused of membership in Fateh, possession of weapons and killing an Israeli occupation soldier. After 27 court sessions, the Lyd occupation military court sentenced him to be hanged, but the verdict was reduced to a life sentence. During his captivity, he enrolled in the Open University to study linguistics, but was unable to get a degree, as he missed the last four courses because the Israeli prison administration refused to let him continue his education. Maher’s mother is active in activities in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, and she represents the parents of political prisoners from Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and is their spokesperson. Maher wasn’t allowed to see his father for 6 months, and when his father was on his deathbed, Maher applied to the Israeli prison authority for a special permit to visit him, but it was refused and his father died without Maher having the chance to say goodbye. This had great effect on Maher, and during the following Ramadan he asked his mother for money so he can make dinner for the prisoners in his father’s memory.

3. Mohammad Ahmad Abdel Hamid Al-Tous, 60 years old (1955), from Hebron. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.10.1985 (29 years, 6 months, 11 days – total days: 10,785)

Palestinian political prisoner Ahmad At-Tous © google images

Mohammad was born in 1955 in Hebron, and is father to 3 children. Israeli occupation forces kidnapped him on 06.10.1985 and he was tortured and isolated several times. He was member of a Palestinian resistance group that worked in occupied Palestine. In 1985, Israeli warplanes bombed several group members while on their way to Syria. Only Mohammad survived and another two members, Ziad and Mustafa Ighnemat, who stayed behind in Sourif, were detained. The three received life sentences. When Mohammad was kidnapped, his son Shadi was 3 years old, his daughter Fida’ was two years, and his wife was pregnant with his son Thaer. Mohammad’s wife Amnah, who used to participate in all solidarity activities with Palestinian political prisoners, died on 02.01.2015, after being in a coma for one and half years. She had suffered a stroke and fell in come after being told that Israel refused to include her husband in the list of those to be released within the prisoner exchange deal. His son Shadi says: “We await and prepare ourselves to welcome father who has been away from us for so long, and left us young to come back now and see us and see our children.” Mohammad’s children grew up and got married while he was locked up in a zionist dungeon. He now has 6 grandchildren whom he only saw in pictures.

4. Ibrahim Nayef Hamdan Abu Mukh, 54 years old, from Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.03.1986 (29 years, 24 days – total days: 10,616)

Palestinian political prisoner Ibrahim Abu Mukh © google images

Ibrahim was born on 26.02.1960 in Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh, has one sister and lost both his parents when he and his sister were children. They lived a life of poverty and deprivation, but Ibrahim had a strong character and will to face life. He concluded the primary school, but poverty prevented him from finishing his school education, and was forced to join the labor market in order to try and make money to finish his secondary and university education. Ibrahim loved reading and was known to always carry a book. He was well educated politically and believed in armed resistance as the road to defeat occupation. On 24.03.1986, he was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces, and after interrogation, he was charged with membership in the PFLP, the possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance actions in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced him to life imprisonment, and since then he has been transferred from one Israeli occupation jail to another. During his captivity, Ibrahim enrolled in the Open University at the Dept. of Political and Social Science. It is worth mentioning that before his captivity, Ibrahim was engaged, but after he was sentenced, he broke the engagement in order not to be unfair to his fiancée who will have otherwise to wait long for him. Despite being in jail, Ibrahim dreams of the day he is free, and with the help of his friends, his sister and her family, he is building a house for himself near his parents’ house.

5. Rushdi Hamdan Mohammad Abu Mukh, 54 years old, from Baqa Al-Ghabriyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.03.1986 (29 years, 24 days – total days: 10,616)

Palestinian political prisoner Rushdi Abu Mukh © google images

Rushdi was born on 20.04.1960 in Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh, and has 4 brothers and 3 sisters. He concluded his school education, after which he worked in a workshop owned by his brothers in manufacturing iron doors and windows. He was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 24.03.1986 and charged with membership in the PFLP, possession of weapons and explosives and conducting resistance actions in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced him to life imprisonment. Before his captivity, Rushdi was engaged, but after he was sentenced, he broke the engagement in order not to be unfair to his fiancée who will have otherwise to wait long for him. He has been since transferred to several occupation jails, and he suffers from diabetes.

6. Walid Nimer As’ad Duqqa, 54 years old, from Baqa Al-Ghabriyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 25.03.1986 (29 years, 23 days – total days: 10,615)
Palestinian political prisoner Walid Duqqa © google images

Walid was born on 01.01.1961 in Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh, and has 6 brothers and 3 sisters. He concluded his school education, and worked in a petrol station until he was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces. The Lyd occupation military court charged Walid with membership in the PFLP, possession of weapons and explosives and conducting actions in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. During his captivity, Walid enrolled in Open University at the Dept. of Political Science and received his first and second university degrees. His mother hangs his degrees on wall in her sitting room. Walid lost his father while in captivity, and the Israeli prison authority refused to let him say farewell to him. Before his captivity, Walid was engaged, but after he was sentenced, he broke the engagement in order not to be unfair to his fiancée who will have otherwise to wait long for him. During imprisonment, Sana’ Salameh, an activist for prisoner rights from At-Tireh, proposed to Walid and he accepted. He is considered as one the first to initiate the concept of resistance within prisons to gain prisoner rights. This is to be achieved through continuous protests and struggle within the prisons, combined with the support of people outside the prisons, raising awareness on prisoner issues to international public, and keeping it a case of struggle so as to win rights for prisoners, such as being treated as prisoners of war, with all the rights connected to it, including a determined sentence. Walid, a courageous and tireless fighter for the rights of political prisoners, wrote to his mother on the day he entered his 20th year in captivity: “I admit now, and in my 20th year in jail, that I still don’t feel the hate or roughness or crudeness that life in jail imposes… I admit that I still get happy like a child for the simplest things, and I am filled with happiness when I hear a word of encouragement or a word of flattery or a kind word… I admit that my heart beats for a flower I see on the TV screen or a natural scene or the scene of the sea… I admit that I am happy despite everything and miss nothing of life’s pleasures except two scenes: children and work.”

7. Ibrahim Abdel Raziq Ahmad Bayadsa, 54 years old, from Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.03.1986 (29 years, 22 days – total days: 10,614)

Palestinian political prisoner Ibrahim Bayadsa © google images

Ibrahim was born on 07.03.1960 in Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh, and has 6 siblings. Due to financial difficulties, he was not able to finish his university education, so he worked in a factory in an effort to save money to go back to university. He was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 26.03.1986 and was charged with membership in the PFLP, possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance actions in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. During his captivity, Ibrahim was transferred to several jails, as he actively participates in protest actions. He taught a number of detainees Arabic and Hebrew, and enrolled in the Open University at the Law Dept. His mother Hajja Aisha, who is over 80 years old, is active in the solidarity movement for political prisoners and participates in most activities in support of Palestinian political prisoners. She is considered a mother for all Palestinian political prisoners and they all know her and wait for her visit. Additionally, his brother Abu Walid is member of the support group for political prisoners and their families. On the day he entered his 25th year in captivity, his mother said. “I cannot describe how I feel on this day after I saw all this gathering that still bears on its shoulders the issue of the prisoners from the Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and make it a global issue to be remembered and passed on by generations… There is no place for sadness and sorrow in me now, because I know that Ibrahim is not alone in his cell, and I am well aware that he traveled all over the world with his and his brothers’ just cause.” She continued: “When I last visited him, he was in good health and had high spirits, was proud and standing tall because his cause is a just cause and a national cause that everyone is proud of… What pains me most is that I can never shake his hand or kiss him… the Israel prison authority tightened the noose on the Palestinian political prisoners and prevents them from meeting their families except from behind a glass window and to talk with them through a speakerphone.” She also recalled how Ibrahim always told her to bring Palestinian dishes on her visits, such as Khubezeh and spinach, as these remind him of the taste of freedom, but the Israeli jailors killed his joy the day they prohibited the delivery of any home-made food to the prisoners.

8. Ahmad Ali Hussein Abu Jaber, 56 years old, from Kufr Qasem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.07.1986 (28 years, 9 months, 9 days – total days: 10,510)

Palestinian political prisoner Ahmad Abu Jaber © google images

Ahmad was born on 01.01.1059 in Bir As-Sabi’. His father died before his birth, and when he was young, he moved with his family to Kufr Qasem. Ahmad finished the primary school and worked in manufacturing aluminum doors and windows. He was kidnapped on 08.07.1986, and on 22.07.1096 charged by the Nablus Israeli military court with membership in Fateh, and killing an Israeli occupation soldier and a collaborator. He received a life sentenced and 10 years. During his captivity, Ahmad enrolled in the Open University to study Social Science, and he writes poems and articles on political topics. In 1978, and before his captivity, Ahmad was married and had 2 sons and 1 daughter. Now the three are grown up and his eldest son and daughter got married and have children. His wife says that upon his detention, she had to become the father and mother for the children, and that his absence was difficult for the children, especially the eldest daughter. She also mentions that before his arrest, he was often away from home, but after his sentence he wrote to her saying he knew her feelings, and explaining that his resistance activity kept him from home. His daughter says: “He is the kind father we are proud of… he loved the people and loved Palestine and he and his prisoner comrades sacrificed their lives for the cause….. I never forgot him once… he is on my mind all the time, my only dream is when he is released and to see him amongst us… this is the hope that gives me the ability to continue in life…. nonetheless I feel his absence during happy family occasions and it makes me cry…”

9. Samir Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Ne’meh, 54 years old, from Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 20.10.1986 (28 years, 5 months, 28 days – total days: 10,406)

Palestinian political prisoner Samir Abu Ne'meh © google images

Samir was born on 04.11.1960. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 20.10.1986 and brutally beaten. In interrogation cells in the Russian compound, known by Palestinian prisoners as the “Maslakh” – the slaughterhouse, he was subjected to harsh interrogation and physical torture for 45 days to force him to admit to stabbing a Zionist colonist in Jerusalem. The torture included breaking his nose, severely beating him on the neck, the spine, and ear. He did not admit to anything, was nonetheless charged with membership in Fateh, and sentenced based on the “confession of others” to life imprisonment. He is constantly punished for his activism within the prison; he was often tortured, placed in solitary confinement or transferred from one prison to another. One time, Samir was isolated in Bir Asabi’ jail for 7 days for asking for clothes, after he was transferred from one jail to other, as he had nothing with him except a towel, and when he complained to the Israeli prison authority, he was subjected to abuse and isolation. Although all the members of his resistance cell were released in the prisoner exchange deal in 2011, the Zionist entity refused to release him. Due to the physical torture he was subjected due during interrogation, Samir suffers from rheumatism and chronic pains in the neck, back and hand. He was transferred to the prison “hospital” several times and underwent 6 surgeries during his captivity, which however did not relieve him of his pain, and the only medicine he receives is pain killers. His brother Walid says that Samir’s captivity only makes him more proud of his brother, because he was imprisoned for defending his country. He also mentions how tiresome the visits are, but nonetheless he will endure anything to see his brother. He remembers how once his tears fell when he was granted a special visit after various requests, and was allowed to see his brother without any barriers and to hug him.
In a message he sent to the Palestinian people when he entered his 27th year in captivity, Samir said: “The only thing we can do is to recharge our spirit and our will with new energy, in order to overcome years of torment… so patience is our weapon in the face of the darkness of the prison and the absence of hope, and practice all that we can in order to stay strong and overcome the time of slow death and the borders of cemeteries called prisons. We are the soldiers of Jerusalem and the land, all we want is that you preserve the high price paid by thousands of prisoners in the prisons, and the souls of the martyrs who died for our rights, justice and freedom.”

10. Mohammad Adel Hassan Daoud, 49 years old, from Qalqilya. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.12.1987 (27 years, 4 months, 9 days – total days: 9,992)

Palestinian political prisoner Mohammad Daoud © google images

Mohammad was kidnapped on 08.12.1987, and accused of military activism in Fateh, and killing the head of the colonial council in the West Bank. Her received a life sentence, and his house was demolished. He lost his parents while in captivity and the Israeli prison authority did not allow him to say farewell to them. Mohammad is active with the prison movement and participated in various hunger strikes, and was once punished with solitary confinement for 3 months. He suffers from toothache and his teeth are falling, chronic stomachache and disorder, sever pain in the joints, especially around the knee, which hinders his natural movement, in addition to the exacerbation of psoriasis, as well as suffering from an allergic skin, which causes it to crack and bleed.

11. Basher Abdallah Kamel Al-Khatib, 53 years old, from Ar-Ramleh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 01.07.1988 (26 years, 9 months, 16 days – total days: 9,786)

Palestinian political prisoner Basher Al-Khatib © google images

Basher was born 20.04.1961 in Ar-Ramleh, and has 2 brothers. He finished his primary and secondary school education and worked in repairing bicycles. He got married in 1980 and has 2 sons and 3 daughters. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 01.07.1988, and accused of the membership in a prohibited organization, the possession of weapons and explosives, conducting resistance activities in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948 and the killing of zionists. The Central Israeli occupation court in Tel Aviv sentenced Basher to life in prison. Four of his children married while he was in Israeli captivity.

12. Mahmoud Salim Suleiman Abu Kharbish, 49 years old, from Jericho. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.11.1988 (26 years, 5 months, 14 days – total days: 9,661)

Palestinian political prisoner Mahmoud Abu Kharbish © google images

Mahmoud was born in 02.06.1965 in Jericho and worked as a farmer. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers on 03.11.1988, was accused of committing a resistance operation in Jericho in 1988, in which several Israel occupation soldiers were killed, and was sentenced to life in prison. Mahmoud finished high school while in captivity, educated himself, and learned several languages, such as English, Hebrew, Spanish and German. Mahmoud suffers from various diseases, such as a heart disease and is in need of surgery, stomach ulcer, and due to dampness of the prison cell, he suffers from friction in the bones of the leg and can’t walk from the pain. He needs urgent and on-going health care, but the Israeli prison authority neglects his treatment, putting his life in danger. Mahmoud was transferred more than once to Ramla occupation prison “hospital”, nonetheless he did not receive medical treatment fit for his condition. Despite his illnesses, he participated in several hunger strikes, and was punished with solitary confinement a number of times. His daughter Asma’ was 7 months old when Mahmoud was kidnapped, now she is married and a mother of two. His wife says: “We went through all sorts of suffering during his arrest, now we live in a similar state but a different kind of suffering, waiting and worrying.”

13. Mahmoud Othman Ibrahim Jabbareen, 50 years old, from Um Il-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.10.1988 (26 years, 6 months, 9 days – total days: 9,687)

Palestinian political prisoner Mahmoud Jabbareen © google images

Mahmoud was born on 01.01.1965 in Um Al-Fahim, and has 5 brothers and 5 sisters. He finished his primary and secondary school education and worked until he was kidnapped on 08.10.1988. He was accused membership in Fateh, and conducting resistance actions in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948. The Lyd Israeli occupation military court sentenced him to life in prison, which were reduced to 30 years. During his captivity, he enrolled in the Open University.

14. Jum’a Ibrahim Jum’a Adam, 46 years old, from Ramallah. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 31.10.1988 (26 years, 5 months, 17 days – total days: 9,664)

Palestinian political prisoner Jum'a Adam © google images

Jum’a was born in 1969 in Jericho. He was active in resisting the Israeli occupation and was imprisoned several times between 1986 and 1988. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 31.12.1988, tortured in the Russian compound (known by the prisoners as the Maslakh – the slaughter) for 70 days to force him to confess to throwing a Molotov cocktail on an Israeli occupation military jeep. Jum’a was threatened with execution on the hands of his interrogators, his home and that of the group arrested with him were demolished and their families made homeless. He was charged with conducing resistance operations against the Zionist entity, and was sentenced to life in prison. Jum’a did his high school exam while in captivity, and participates in various actions of the prisoner movement, including all open hunger strikes. He suffers from various ailments due to the torture he was subjected to during interrogation. In a letter, Jum’a says that the most difficult and painful situation for him, was when his mother died while he was in jail. She had never missed a visit, but in the end she left without a goodbye. He says: “The most painful thing for a prisoner is the loss of the mother, nothing affects the prisoner more than the absence of the mother, for she is the magic link and the umbilical cord that strengthens in the prisoner all reasons for power, hope and life.”

15. Samir Saleh Taha Sirsawi, 47 years old, from Ibtin. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.11.1988 (26 years, 4 months, 24 days – total days: 9,640)

Palestinian political prisoner Samir Sirsawi © google images

Samir was born on 09.05.1967 in Ibtin, and has 3 brothers and 7 sisters. He finished primary school, after which he started working in a factory. The Israeli occupation forces kidnapped him on 24.11.1988 and accused him of membership in Fateh, possession of weapons and explosives, and throwing a bomb in Haifa. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced Samir to life imprisonment. Samir suffers from various diseases, such as problems with the thyroid gland, and when his father passed away, Samir was prevented from participating in his father’s funeral. He received his high school degree while in captivity, enrolled in the Open University and received both a BA and MA in Social Sciences.

16. Ra’id Mohammad Sharif As-Sa’di, 49 years old, from As-Sileh Al-Harthiyyeh, Jenin. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 28.08.1989 (25 years, 7 months, 20 days – total days: 9,363)

Palestinian political prisoner Ra'id As-Sa'di © google images

Ra’id was born in As-Sileh Al-Harthiyyeh in Jenin in 1966, and has 6 brothers and 5 sisters. He was first arrested in 1984, and was held captive for 6 months for raising the Palestinian flag on a power mast in his village. Ra’id was active in resisting the occupation, and was wanted for several years. During this time, the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped his mother, father and some of his brothers, detained them up to 4 months to pressure Ra’id to hand himself in. On 28.08.1989, he was kidnapped by Israeli military special forces while undercover visiting his family. He was tortured during interrogation, and was accused of resisting the Israeli occupation and conducting military operations that led to the death of Zionist colonists and occupation soldiers, and received two life sentences and 20 years. Ra’id suffers from various ailments, such as heart problems, stomach ulcer and back pain due to being tortured by Israeli interrogators. He underwent surgery while in captivity after his health deteriorated, but still doesn’t receive enough treatment. Nonetheless, he participated in several hunger strikes despite his condition. Additionally, Ra’id was deprived of visits from his siblings for 8 years, after his parents stopped visiting him due to old age and illness. Currently, only one brother is allowed to visit him every 6 months.

In an interview, Ra’id’s father says: “His release is a the greatest joy, but it is missing, it is an unfulfilled joy as his eldest brother died and his mother suffered a stroke that paralyzed her and made her lose some of her memory, his mother and I haven’t seen him since 10 years due to illness, but we are waiting for him.” Also, in an interview early 2014 , his 70 years old mother Siham, who was bedridden since years due to illness, expressed fears of dying before seeing her son again. She suffered from hemiplegia and lived on pain killers and medications hoping to live another day to see her son. She said: “25 years I did not kiss Ra’id… what burns my heart over him is that I do not have any news about him and don’t receive messages from him, even his voice, it is rare that I hear him or to visit him since four years, as a result of the deterioration of my health.” In the interview, she recalled her last visit to him in late 2009: “I was deprived of seeing him for more than a year after they arrested him in 1989, after which came a permission for me to visit him, and I went and got very tired from the long journey, that I did not believe I will see him, but I reached him, and it was the most beautiful and the most difficult moment in my life.” But her body was too weak, and Siham died in 2014 before she could see her son again. Ra’id’s father says : “I hope to hug my son before I die… I hope to live to see my son free and celebrate with him his wedding as this was his late mother’s dream.” He wished for his son to be released in 2014, but the Israeli occupation did not release him, then his wife died, he adds: “She fought the illness and the pain all these years, and before she could hug him she died in June 204, sad and pained and crying over our son whom she didn’t visit in 14 years due to illness… she repeated his name with her final breaths”. He hugs his son’s picture and wipes his tears and says: “When will I be able to hug him, my heart is sad and cries from pain due to this injustice and punishment…. My wish is to stay alive until I see him free of these damned jails, and to see him married and to live a normal dignified life like the rest of the people.”

17. Faris Ahmad Mohammad Baroud, 46 years old, from Shati’ refugee camp, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 23.03.1991 (24 years, 25 days – total days: 8,791)

Palestinian political prisoner Faris Baroud © google images

Faris was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 23.03.1991. He was accused of membership in Fateh and killing a zionist colonist, and received a life sentence. Faris’s mother was not allowed to see him, her only and orphaned son for over 24 years. The sadness and the worry which caused her to lose her sight, as she was informed the Israeli occupation authority that her son will be among those to be released in the coming prisoner exchange, and afterwards retracted, which caused her to faint and be taken to hospital. She still has hope that she will live to hug her son, see him free, and give him the clothes she had kept for him, the house keys and to ululate for him at his wedding before she dies. She keeps tiding her son’s room in wait for him. Also, she participates in the weekly sit-in in front of the Red Cross office every Monday, and holds the picture of her son; “If they demolish my house…. I will remain waiting for my son at the road side, I will sleep in the street, and maybe I will regain my eye sight if he comes back.”

18. Ibrahim Sa’id Hasan Ighbariyyeh, 49 years old, from Msherfeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.02.1992 (23 years, 1 months, 22 days – total days: 8,451)

19. Mohammad Sa’id Hasan Ighbariyyeh, 46 years old, from Msherfeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.02.1992 (23 years, 1 months, 22 days – total days: 8,451)

Palestinian political prisoners Ibrahim & Mohammad Ighbariyyeh © google images

Ibrahim and Mohammad are two brother from Msherfehs. Ibrahim was born on 19.02.1965, while Mohammad was born on 31.01.1968. They have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. After Ibrahim finished his school education, Ibrahim wanted to study at a university, but his financial situation prevented him, so he joined the labor market and worked in manufacturing aluminum doors and windows. Mohammad on the other hand, finished high school and enrolled in Tel Aviv University to study Electronic Engineering, and after receiving his degree, Mohammad worked as a teacher in Um Il-Fahem. Both brothers were kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 26.02.1992 and after interrogation were charged with membership in Fateh, possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance actions in an Israeli military camp and killing Israeli occupation soldiers. Both received each 3 life sentences and 16 years. During their captivity, the brothers enrolled in the Open University, and Mohammad received his Masters in Political Science, and published a number of books, including poems about life in jail. He also wrote essays on Palestinian political prisoners and how their cause is an important part of the Palestinian cause, and about Israeli occupation measures against political prisoners. Mohammad was married to Ruqayyah just before his detention, and after his sentence, he asked her for divorce because he will stay indefinitely behind Zionist bars. Ruqayyah refused, and said that he is a political prisoner and she is proud of him. Ibrahim was engaged when he was arrested, but broke his engagement after the verdict, and during his captivity, Palestinian political prisoner Muna Aa’dan, from ‘Aqaba in Jenin, proposed to Ibrahim, and he accepted. Their elder brother Mahmoud died and they didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to him, as Israeli prison authorities did not allow them to attend his funeral. Ibrahim and Mohammad’s mother is proud of them, and says in an interview with the Hadith il Nas newspaper on 23.3.2012 that she never missed a visit to her two sons over the last 2 decades, whatever the reasons or condition. One time, their visit was on the day of her daughter’s pre-wedding ceremony, Ibrahim and Mohammad told their mother not to come to visit them, but to celebrate with her daughter, but she couldn’t, and went to visit them. In another interview in Bukra she says: “I don’t see any logic or credibility in the imprisonment of my sons, they have killed and we have killed, but they kill and enjoy their lives, and we have to live in jails and suffer the jail and jailors, nonetheless our spirits are high and this all thanks to God.”

20. Yahya Mustapha Mohammad Ighbariyyeh, 47 years old, from Msherfeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.03.1992 (23 years, 1 months, 14 days – total days: 8,445)

Palestinian political prisoner Yahya Ighbariyyeh © google images

Yahya Ighbariyyeh was born on 01.01.1968 in Msherfeh village, near Um Il-Fahim. He has 4 sisters and 4 brothers. Yahya left school in his teens due to financial difficulties to work in the construction business. Yahya was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 03.03.1992 and he was accused of membership in the prohibited organization Fateh, the possession of weapons and explosives, conducting resistance activities in an Israeli occupation military camp and the killing of Israeli occupation soldiers. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced Yahya to 3 life imprisonments and 15 years.

21. Mohammad Tawfiq Mohammad Suleiman Jabbareen, 63 years old, from Um il-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.03.1992 (23 years,1 months, 14 days – total days: 8,445)

Palestinian political prisoner Mohammad Jabbareen © google images

Mohammad was born on 01.01.1952 in Um il-Fahim, and has 4 brothers and 2 sisters. He finished primary school, then worked as an employee in a medical centre. Mohammad was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 03.03.1991 and accused of membership in Hamas, possession of weapons and explosives, and assisting in resistance actions. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced him 3 life imprisonments and 15 years. Mohammad is married and has 4 boys and 5 girls, one of his sons died while he was in captivity, but the Israeli prison authority refused to let him say goodbye to his son.

22. Diya’ Zakariya Shakir Al-Agha Alfaluji, 39 years old, from Khan Younis, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 10.10.1992 (22 years, 6 months, 7 days – total days: 8,224)

Palestinian political prisoner Diya' Al-Agha © google images

Diya’ was born in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on 19.04.1975. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces and was accused of killing an Israeli occupation security officer at the Ghush Qatif Zionist colony. The killed Israeli occupation officer had participated in the assassination of the Palestinian leaders Kamal Naser, Kamal Idwan and Abu Yousef Al-Najjar in Lebanon. Diya’ was tortured by Israeli interrogators during the interrogation and was threatened with collective punishment against his entire family. He received a life sentence and was prohibited from seeing his parents for long years. In 2012, his elderly mother was allowed to visit him for the first time. When Diya’s father died in 2005, he was not allowed to say farewell to him. Diya’s brother, Mohammad, has also been held captive in Israeli jails since 2003.

23. Mohammad Fawzi Salameh Falneh, 52 years, from Safa, Ramallah. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 29.11.1992 (22 years, 4 months, 19 days – total days: 8174)

Palestinian political prisoner Mohammad Falneh © google images

Mohammad was born in Safa in 1963 to a family of 12. He left school at an early age to work with his father in supporting the large family. He was active in resisting the occupation and was detained in 1998 and sentenced to 14 months in captivity. Mohammad was kidnapped in 1992, and accused of bombing a Zionist bus together with martyrs Issam Barahmeh and Yahya Ayyash and former prisoner Ata Falneh who was later “deported” to Gaza. He received a life sentence. During the long interrogation, he was denied family visits, and was isolated in an underground section in Ramleh jail for a year. Mohammad was often punished by the Israeli prison administration, and was transferred from one jail to the other, and was isolated several times. Most of his family members are prohibited from visiting him with security excuses, and those who are allowed to visit him, are only allowed a visit every 6 months. His brother says that his father was the most affected, for he will go and bare the tiresome journey to visit his son, but he paid the price with his body as her became ill and was denied his son’s visit for 5 years until he died in 2011. Mohammad’s sister also died in 2009 due to illness after being denied from seeing him for 15 years.

24. Naser Hasan Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, 45 years old, from Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 04.01.1993 (22 years, 3 months, 13 days – total days: 8,138)

25. Mahmoud Jamil Hasan Abu Srour, 44 years old, from Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 05.01.1993 (22 years, 3 months, 12 days – total days: 8,137)

Palestinian political prisoners Naser & Mahmoud Abu Srour © google images

Naser and Mahmoud are cousins, and were students at Bethlehem University, together with their cousin martyr Maher Abu Srour who killed a shabak officer in 1993 in Jerusalem. Maher was extra-judicially executed 6 months later in Bethlehem by the Israeli occupation forces. Naser’s father died while he was in captivity, and his mother Mazyuna recalls the day he was sentenced to life in jail: “I felt I will never see him come back home, and a feeling of pain and bitterness.” The Israeli occupation authorities prohibited her from visiting Naser for 7 years after his detention, and following protest actions within the prison and outside it, she was allowed to visit him. Naser’s mother recalled when she visited him in Ramleh prison: ”When I visited him in Ramleh prison, they placed him in a cell and I in another cell in complete darkness, and when they took him out of the cell, I rushed behind him to touch him with my hands, but the soldiers prevented me and took him through the elevator instead of the staircase to deprive me from touching him, seeing him and asking him about his health.” She kisses her son’s photo and says: “I am a mother who dreams of hugging her son and to live happily with him like all mothers.” She wishes to see her son before she dies. Naser’s brother Abdel Fattah says: “My mother counts the hours, no the minutes, but she is afraid at the same time, and she says that when Naser is released she will keep him by her side and he will sleep in her lap, and she will never leave him”.

During captivity, Mahmoud enrolled in the Open University and received a BA and MA in Political Science. He lost his father while in captivity and was not allowed to say farewell to him. His mother Sabha died on 16.08.2014 aged 80 years old, before she could see her son free. In an interview before her death, she said: “The most important thing is that he comes home, to reach us and I see him and hug him and kiss him …. Most important thing is that Mahmoud is free while I am still alive, and everything else is easy, I will see him married and will celebrate with him, for that is the moment I have been waiting for since so long.”

26. Mahmoud Musa Issa Issa, 46 years old, ‘Anata, lives in Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.06.1993 (21 years, 10 months, 14 days – total days: 7,988)

Palestinian political prisoner Mahmoud Issa © google images

Mahmoud was born on 21.05.1968 in ‘Anata, and has 5 sisters and 3 brothers. After graduating from school, he worked as an office director for Sawt al-Haq wa al-Hurriyah newspaper that was published in Um il-Fahim. He enrolled at al-Quds University in Abu Dees, and formed with a group of Jerusalemites the first Hamas military cell in occupied Jerusalem. Mahmoud was kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers from his home in ‘Anata in occupied Jerusalem, and accused of participating in one of the most famous Palestinian resistance operations, during which Al-Qassam fighters kidnapped an Israeli occupation soldier near the occupied city of Lyd on13.12.1992, and demanded the release of Sheikh Ahmed Yasin in exchange for the release of the occupation soldier. The Zionist entity did not respond to their demand, causing the death of its occupation soldier. A wide-scale arrest campaign was launched, with the subsequent expelling of 415 Palestinians to South Lebanon. During this campaign, thousands of Hamas members in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were detained, including 25-year-old Mahmoud, who was kidnapped from his house in ‘Anata, whereby Israeli occupation soldiers surrounded his house and kidnapped 3 of his brothers. Mahmoud was charged with kidnapping and killing an Israeli occupation soldiers, and was sentenced to 3 life imprisonments and 40 years. The Israeli prison authority began its revenge against Mahmoud by preventing his mother from visiting him during his first trial, and ordered the closure of his family’s house. Immediately after the sentence, Mahmoud was placed in solitary confinement in Ramleh prison. He was held captive in a small cell below the ground, until it was closed in 1995. Moreover, he was once isolated for a month in Bir as-Sabi; prison for no reason. Mahmoud’s father was allowed to visit him only two years after his imprisonment, and he died shortly after this one visit, due to the deterioration of his health. The Israeli prison administration did not allow Mahmoud leave to bid his father farewell.

Mahmoud was subject to frequent isolation, and spent three and a half years on multiple periods in isolation and was taken for interrogation in the Russian Compound several times. To pressure Mahmoud into confessing, Israeli occupation soldiers broke into his family’s house and forcibly brought his mother to the Russian compound. During interrogation, they threatened to keep her captive, unless Mahmoud submits the information they claimed he had. Moreover, various methods of torture were used against Mahmoud. In 1996, while he was held captive in Ahkelon prison – known for the brutality of its interrogators -, Mahmoud, together with a number of his comrades tried to escape from the prison, through digging a tunnel. But they were caught, and the Israeli prison authority punished them, whereby it separated them from each other, extended their prison sentence, and transferred them to solitary confinement. Mahmoud was isolated for 1 year and 2 months. In 1998, Mahmoud was taken back to the interrogation cells for 3 months in the Russian compound and tortured. He was accused of forming a military cell in occupied Jerusalem that was responsible for killing a Zionist colonist. After the interrogation, he was sent to isolation in Bir as-Sabi’ for 2 years, from where he was transferred after fellow prisoners carried out a 1-month hunger strike in solidarity with Mahmoud. In 2002 he was sent again to the interrogation cells in the Russian compound for two months and tortured. This time, his mother was brought for interrogation as well, in order to pressure Mahmoud into confessing, but he did not. He was accused of carrying the title of “Emir of Hamas” in ‘Asqalan prison, forming military cells in occupied Jerusalem and Ramallah, funding them and planning resistance actions. Consequently, 6 years were added to his sentence and placed in solitary confinement for over than 10 years. In this period, Mahmoud was held in solitary confinement with Jamal Abu al-Hija. The area of their cell does not exceed 3 x 3.5 meters, it lacks proper ventilation and has only one small window above the door sized 30 x 80 cm, overlooking the corridor. The iron door has a slot, which is only open to allow the meals in. Mahmoud remains held in these circumstances over 23 hours a day, and only one hour daily hr id allowed to go into the “yard” to walk. This “yard” has an area of 3.30 × 4.30, and a high of 4m, half covered with a fence and 4 layers of barbed wire and rods of iron. When Mahmoud and Jamal are allowed into the “yard”, their hands are tied to the back, and are untied upon their return to their cell. Mahmoud’s punishment by the Israeli prison authority continued, such as preventing family visits, preventing food from outside the prison, preventing him from buying food from prison canteen like other prisoners, and preventing his family from bringing any clothes or covers for him.

Additionally, he is transferred from one prison to another in average every 6 months, in order to prevent him from “settling in”, and as a punitive measure to undermine his determination and will. One semester after enrolling in the Open University to study Political Science, the prison administration prevented Mahmoud from continuing his studies. Also, he is banned from receiving books by a decision of an occupation court. Many times, the clothes his parent sent to him were kept aside, and Mahmoud would receive the summer clothes in winter so he would find no use for them. Subscription is only allowed to one Hebrew newspaper, there are no English newspapers, and Arab newspapers are irregular and sometimes interrupted for a period of 4 months. Also, all magazines are banned. Communication between the cells is forbidden, and what increased the suffering of Mahmoud is that he was held in the same section as Israeli criminal prisoners, who frequent caused hassle and noise, with continuous quarrel, their radios and televisions always on and loud. Following his isolation in 2002, Mahmoud was prevented from family visits, and his family managed to visit him only a couple of times through his mother. One visit was only for half an hour, and his 75 years old mother recalled: “They brought him and his hands and legs were cuffed, and it was only in the visiting room that they untied his hands and kept his feed tied. I spoke to him from behind glass through a phone.” His family communicates with him through lawyers, who visited periodically – however he was prevented from meeting lawyers more than once – and sometimes through messages sent via the Red Cross, which he receives after 5 months, and sometimes by radio. Mohamad’s father died a year after his detention, and Mahmoud was unable to attend his funeral, and was denied a condolence phone call with his family. Additionally, while in captivity, many family occasions, such as marriages, deaths and new births took place. Now, his nephews and nieces know him only through the photographs. It is worth mentions that Mahmoud likes paining, writing, and handicrafts.

27. Na’il Rafiq Ibrahim Salhab, 40 years old, from Jerusalem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 27.09.1993 (21 years, 6 months, 21 days – total days: 7,872)

Palestinian political prisoner Na'il Salhab © google images

Na’il was born on 21.09.1974. He was kidnapped on 27.09.1993 and accused of participating in the killing of an Israeli occupation soldier in Betunia. After 4 months in interrogation, Na’il was sentenced to 30 years and 9 months. During his captivity, he did his high school examination. Na’il’s mother says in an interview: “My son only wants freedom, because it is the most expensive thing in the world… only one who tasted the cruelty and suffering of detention knows its value… If a bird is placed in a narrow cage, it is annoyed and longs for freedom and to fly, let alone a man who does not have his freedom…. detention is very difficult, and more difficult is that it is associated with the cruelty of Israeli occupation and jailors… despite the rigors and bitterness of prison, but the imprisonment of Na’il only increased my pride in him.” She also recalled the suffering endured during the visits, which is experienced by both the prisoner and his/her family. The Israeli prison authority only allows visits from his first-degree relatives, thus depriving other family members from visiting him. His mother awaits the day of his visit impatiently, and feels nervous with the approaching deadline. During the night before the visit, she inspects her ID several times out of fear that she might forget it and not be allowed to see her son. Then she has to endure the long wait, often for hours, in the small filthy waiting rooms, only to be allowed to see her son from behind glass. Na’il’s mother says: “My heart breaks because I cannot touch Na’il. During his captivity, I was allowed a private visit only twice in the prisons of Ashkelon and Ramon, where I was able to touch his hands and kiss him….. Despite the suffering, my spirit is strong, and I hope that Na’il will return to his home which misses him no matter how long it takes.”

28. Mohammad Yousef Abdel Jawad Shamasneh, 45 years old, from Qatanna, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 12.11.1993 (21 years, 5 months, 5 days – total days: 7826)

Palestinian political prisoner Mohammad Shamasneh © google images

Mohammad was born on 25.09.1969. Israeli occupation forces kidnapped him on 12.11.1993 from his home in Qattanah village. During the process, Israeli occupation soldiers forced him out of his house, beat him with the butts of their weapons, searched his house and scattered its contents. They also dragged his wife and 3 daughters out of the house at three o’clock in the morning, the eldest of whom was then four years old and the youngest two months old. This night is still clear in his eldest daughter’s memory fourteen years later; Safa’ says: “That day was difficult; I was little when the soldiers came to our house and started knocking on the door of the house strongly, then father opened the door, and they pointed a gun at him, then threw him to the ground and beat him and then arrested him.” Mohammad was held for interrogation for 45 days, without his family knowing why he was detained. His brother Abdel-Jawad and his cousin Ibrahim Shamasneh were also kidnapped. Mohammed was accused of participating in the killing of three Zionist colonists and membership in Fateh. But despite the torture, Mahmoud did not confess to anything. Twenty days after his arrest, Israeli occupation soldiers brought his brother Abdel-Jawad to his house, and dug out the buried weapons in Mohammad’s land. Mohammad received 3 life sentences and 20 years. While he was in Ashkelon prison, he beat a prison officer, and was sentenced to five additional years. Currently, Mohammed suffers from medical neglect, where he did not receive any treatment although he suffers from back pain, infections of the joints and in the mouth, and sores in the eyes that lost him 70% of its vision. Mohammad’s wife and his daughters and his 65 years old mother visit him once each month after obtaining a permit allowing them to visit him, but his father Yousef (68 years old) is prevented from visiting since over five years. Also, his five brothers are unable to visit him, because they cannot get a permit. His wife describes his visit as bitter, where she leaves the house at about four in the morning and comes back after sunset, and sometimes after midnight, because of Israeli procedures at the checkpoints and inside the prison, and in particular at the Qalandia military checkpoint, where the families of political prisoners are kept held for several hours before they are allowed to pass through. This is in addition to the provocation suffered by the families of political prisoners during the visit by the prison guards.

29. Abdel Jawad Yousif Abdel Jawad Shamasneh, 51 years old, from Qatanna, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 12.12.1993 (21 years, 4 months, 5 days – total days: 7.796)

Palestinian political prisoner Abdel Jawad Shamasneh © google images

Abdel Jawad was born on 23.02.1963, is married and has three sons and four daughters. Israeli occupation forces raided his house on the night of 12.12.1993, kicked his family out of the house into the dark and under the rain, while the occupation soldiers ransacked the house, destroyed and scattered its belongings. Abdel Jawad was brutally beaten by the occupation soldiers before being kidnapped, together with his pregnant wife, his mother-in-law and her daughter. His wife recalls that night: “Even after a hundred years, I will never forget those faces that have interrogated me, for I will never forget throughout my life these days that I spent in the prison, where I was 7 months pregnant with my son Yousef. I suffered a lot, and my children suffered as well, because I away not with them, and because their grandmother was also imprisoned, and there was no one left to care of them. I became afraid and panicked that the (settler) extremists will at any moment go to the house to take revenge on my children. In the darkness of the cell, I did not know day from night, nor the prayer times. I was imprisoned with my mother-in-law and sister in one cell that had an area of 2 * 3 meter, and inside it there was a small exposed bathroom. The 12 days of detention I have lived in Russian compound felt like forever, and I did not expect to get out of the cell.… The interrogators did not care that I was pregnant, and exercised psychological pressure on me. They recorded a sound similar to that of my husband, where he admits to my participation in the killings of Jews, then they threatened me with the kidnapping and killing of my son Ahmad if I did not confess.” Abdel Jawad was held 48 days in interrogation cells, during which he was tortured. His wife saw him as he came out of the interrogation, and his body was full of wounds. During his trial, the guards attacked Abdel Jawad savagely and beat him in front of his wife. Abdel Jawad was accused of killing 4 zionist colonists in occupied Jerusalem in collaboration with his brother Mohammad and his brother-in-law Ibrahim. He received 3 life sentences and 20 years. During his captivity, Abdel Jawad registered to do his high school exam and sat for the exam, but his result did not appear in the lists, and when his family inquired about it, they were told there is no file with his name. He was deprived of family visits for a long time, where his wife was denied permission to visit him on “security grounds”. Also his sons children have been deprived of visiting their father. Abdel Jawad suffers from a chronic disease, where he has sores on his body, which in turn affected the retina of his eyes. He underwent surgery to plant a lens, and is currently suffering from weak vision.

30. Ala’ Iddin Fahmi Fahd Alkaraki, 44 years old, from Hebron. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 17.12.1993 (21 years, 4 months – total days: 7791)

Palestinian political prisoner Ala' Alkaraki © google images

Ala’ AlKaraki is 44 years old. He was born in Hebron and was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces on 17.12.1993. Diya’ was tried by Zionist occupation courts, and was accused  of the responsibility for killing a Zionist colonist. He received a life sentence. While in Israeli captivity, Ala’s father died, and he was not allowed to say farewell to him. Diya’s elderly mother still prays and wishes to see her son before she dies.

Freedom for ALL Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons

The Debate – Palestinian Prisoners