Deans of Palestinian Political Prisoners: A History of Struggle for Freedom and Dignity

O you with bloodshot eyes and bloody hands, Night is short-lived,
The detention room lasts not for ever, Nor yet the links of chains.
Nero died, Rome did not: With her very eyes she fights.
And seeds from a withered ear With wheat shall fill the valley.
Mahmoud Darwish

Prisoner Solidarity Tent in Ramallah © Reham Alhesi

Prisoner Solidarity Tent in Ramallah © Reham Alhesi

Among the over 7000 Palestinian prisoners/detainees held captive in Zionist dungeons, there is a group of 43 prisoners, which grows with every passing month, of very courageous and patient prisoners. These prisoners, called the “Deans of Prisoners”, have been locked up behind bars for over 20 years! Among the 43 “Deans of Prisoners”, 30 have been imprisoned prior to signing the Oslo Accord in May 1994, and who were supposed to be released, but Israel as always never abides to any agreements or promises. Among these, there are 21 prisoners who have spent over 25 years in Israeli captivity. These are truly the “Generals of Patience”, while 9 prisoners who have spent over 30 years in captivity are termed the “Icons of Prisoners”. These prisoners endure this long and harsh captivity because the love of Palestine is strong in their heart and because the belief in the justice of their cause is as strong as the first day of imprisonment. The Zionist torture couldn’t break them and the Zionist dungeons couldn’t break them. According to “Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum” signed on 04.09.1999, all Palestinian prisoners/detainees arrested by Israel prior to 04.05.1994 shall be released, nevertheless, again confirming the futility of negotiations with the Zionist entity, Israel refuses to release many of these detainees and they are often excluded from prisoner exchange deals. These dungeons are graves for the living, prisons spent more inside them than outside them. They were not only robbed of their freedom, but also of their lives; Some left their children as babies behind to talk to them behind glass bars as grown up men and women unable to hug them. They were deprived of seeing their children grow up, deprived of holding them, playing with them, taking them to school, talking to them, quarrelling with them, celebrating with them, crying with them. Some left their parents and siblings behind, their parents punished and their homes demolished. They were deprived of the morning talk with their mother, deprived of her coffee and taboun bread, deprived of her voice singing Mish’al and Dal’ona. They were deprived of working the land with their father, taking the first steps of the dabke with him, deprived of the evening walks with him among the olive trees. They weren’t allowed to attend their children’s wedding, nor their parent’s funerals. They were neither allowed to share the joy nor give comfort and words of consolation. Some aren’t allowed to see their families, others aren’t allowed to see anyone. And some left the darkness of these Zionist dungeons to lie in the darkness of the graves. They were deprived of the sunrise over Jerusalem, the blossom of the Hannoun on the hills of Hebron, lying under the sun on the meadows in Jenin, playing with sand of the Mediterranean, watching the sunset over Nablus. They were deprived of their mother Palestine. The jailor tried to break their spirits, strangle them within the walls of the captivity, but instead Palestinian prisoners stood as one, united, again and again, and fought fierce battles for their freedom, for their dignity. With their mass hunger strike for freedom and dignity, they are breaking the walls of captivity and are marching towards freedom. These prisoners are not just figures in a list, they are not just statistics to be added to reports. They are heroes, they are freedom fighters. We will never do them justice, will never be able to thank them enough for their sacrifice, but the least we could do is remember their names, know a little bit about their lives, where they come from, what their hopes were and what their wishes for the future are. We should remember their suffering and tell them every day that there will never be freedom for Palestine without the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners/detainees. And to their parents I say: your children are not forgotten. They are in our hearts and minds for they are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and comrades.
Following is a list of the “Deans of Prisoners”; 43 Palestinian political prisoners who have spent over 20 years inside Israeli dungeons and are still captives of the Zionist entity.
Note: According to Palestinian prisoner sites, and unless otherwise indicated, a life sentence = 99 years.

Karim Yunis © google images

Karim Yunis © google images

1. Karim Yousif Fadel Younis, 56 years old, from ‘Ara/’Ar’ara. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.01.1983 (34 years, 4 months, 2 days – total days: 12,541)
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 by Israeli occupation soldiers, a day after they kidnapped his cousin Sami, and his cousin Maher was also kidnapped two weeks later. The three were accused of membership in Fateh, resisting the occupation, possession of weapons and killing an Israeli occupation soldier. After 27 court sessions, the Lyd occupation military court sentenced them to be hanged, but the verdict was reduced to a life sentence for each of the three. In September 2012, and following intensive legal efforts, the Israeli court determined Karim’s sentence by 40 years. 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, and played an important role in establishing the national prisoners’ movement in Israeli jails. 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 was often subjected to harassment, repression and punishment on hands of the IPA, for his activism in jail, as he joined over 25 hunger strikes and other forms of prisoners’ protests. He was transferred to all jails, and was isolated several times. Karim lost his father while in captivity, and the Israeli prison administration denied him the chance to say farewell to him. His mother Subhiyeh never stopped visiting him, despite the hardships, harassments, illness and old age. She continues to participate in all prisoner-related activity, despite her old age. 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 the red clothes of those to be executed, and their hands and legs were cuffed. We hired another lawyer 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.” Subhiyeh’s only wish is to hug Karim before she dies: “I live in torture, sadness and pain, but every time I visit Karim, he assures me that he will return. My son always tells me: “Do not grieve, do not give up and do not surrender. Count the hours and you will find me embracing you unexpectedly.” I believe him and pray to God to fulfil that dream, for I long embrace him, to smell his fine smell, and to see his beautiful face, and that the unjust journey of torment on the gates of prisons ends… I wait for the release of Karim minute for minute, and I wish to hug him outside o the jail before I die. He has spent 34 years, and we have had many happy events in which Karim did not participate. I cannot describe the days that passed during this period, while Karim is far away from us and not with us. The Israeli government refused to include Karim in any prisoner exchange deal, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. Karim, like the around 2000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails, joined the mass hunger strike for freedom and dignity. In a recent meeting with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee, Karim called on all Palestinian political prisoners of all political colors to participate in the battle for freedom and dignity in defense of their rights and to force the Israeli government to respect the laws and humanitarian standards in dealing with prisoners. He said: “We have nothing to lose; for the Israeli occupation authority has locked up life inside the detention camps and behind bars, or in the darkness, it has locked up the political hope by rejecting a just peace based on international legitimacy with the Palestinian people… We fought and sacrificed for the right to self-determination, for our country and our dignity, and we will continue to fight from our cells for the rest of our lives… The prison did not control us, and the jailor who ties our hands has become a prisoner in our lives, and so we will turn the occupation into a prisoner through our resistance and our insistence on freedom. The occupation will remain alert, busy and worried as long as he plays the prisoner’s role against the Palestinian people.” On 30.4.17, and while attending a hearing session at the Haifa Central Court, to discuss the refusal of the prison authorities to allow the hunger strikers to meet their lawyers., Karim declared: “The strike is on-going, and we will not retreat even if we become bodies.”

Maher Yunis © google images

Maher Yunis © google images

2. Maher Abdel Latif Abdel Qadir Younis, 58 years old, from ‘Ara/’Ar’ara. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 18.01.1983 (34 years, 3 months, 20 days – total days: 12,529)
Maher was born on 09.01.1958 in ‘Ara/’Ar’ara, and has 1 brother and 5 sisters. After finishing primary school, Maher attended the agricultural school in Khadera. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers, two weeks after they kidnapped his cousins Karim and Sami Younis. The three were accused of membership in Fateh, resisting the occupation, possession of weapons and killing an Israeli occupation soldier. After 27 court sessions, the Lyd occupation military court sentenced them to be hanged, but the verdict was reduced to a life sentence for each of the three. In September 2012, and following intensive legal efforts, the Israeli court determined Maher’s sentence by 40 years. Maher is currently considered the second longest serving Palestinian prisoner, following his cousin Karim. During his captivity, Maher enrolled at 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 able to see his father for a long time, due to his father’s illness and inability to visit his son due to cancer. 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. The IPA refused to include Maher in any prisoner exchange deals, and in 2013, he went on hunger strike for 10 days to highlight the issue of “Deans of Prisoners” who are not included in exchange deals, and ended his hunger strike when the PA promised to focus on this issue. He was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. It is worth mentioning that Maher is denied visits from second degree family members by decision of Israeli central court in Nazareth.

Mohammad Altous © google images

Mohammad Altous © google images

3. Mohammad Ahmad Abdel Hamid Al-Tous, 60 years old (1955), from Ju’beh, Hebron. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.10.1985 (31 years, 7 months, 2 days – total days: 11,537)
Mohammad was born in 1955 in Ju’beh, Hebron, and is father to 3 children. He did not finish his school education because he was detained in 1982 and sentenced to 10 months in jail. Later, he worked with a close group of comrades to create a Palestinian resistance group known as “Hebron Mountain Group” that worked in occupied Palestine, and carried out several resistance operations, and was number 1 on the Shabak’s most wanted list. The group members used to find refuge in caves in the Hebron hills. On 06.10.1985, Israeli warplanes bombed several group members while on their way to Syria. Only Mohammad survived, severely injured, and another two members, Ziad and Mustafa Ighnemat, who stayed behind in Sourif, were detained. Mohammad remembers that day, saying that bullets and bombs were falling on their heads while they were driving towards the Jordanian border, and that the Israeli army could have just arrest them, but it was clear this was an execution operation. Despite his sever injuries, Mohammad was tortured and isolated during interrogation, and received a life sentence, together with the other two remaining members of the cell. His family did not know that he was alive except 6 months after his detention, as it was announced previously by the Israeli occupation army that all members of the cell were killed. Moreover, the occupation demolished the houses of Mohammad and his brother, and after the village residents build a new house for Mohammad, it was demolished again. 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 in 2013. 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, and he currently denied family visits.

Ibrahim Abu Mukh with his sister © google images4. Ibrahim Nayef Hamdan Abu Mukh, 56 years old, from Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.03.1986 (31 years, 1 month, 14 days – total days: 11,368)
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 labour market in order to try and make money to finish his secondary and university education. He struggled for a dignified life, and worked as a carpenter in his own carpentry, set at his humble house. 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, Israeli occupation forces raided his home in Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh, and kidnapped him to the detention centre in Al-Jalameh. His house and the surroundings were thoroughly searched for weapons connecting them to a resistance action. On the same day, an arrest campaign was launched, targeting a number of his comrades; Rushdi Abu Mukh was also kidnapped on the same day, Walid Duqqa was kidnapped the following day, while Ibrahim Bayadsa was kidnapped on 26.03.1986. Others were arrested as well, including martyr Ibrahim Al-Ra’i, who was tortured to death in Israeli interrogation cells. During interrogation, they were all subjected to all forms of torture, both physical and psychological, and were accused of membership in the PFLP, receiving military training in a PFLP base in Syria, and membership in a military cell that kidnapped and killed an Israeli occupation soldier in 1984. Six months after his detention, the Lyd occupation military court charged Ibrahim with membership in the PFLP, the possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance operations in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Since then, he has been transferred from one Israeli occupation jail to another, and only his sister is allowed to visit him, but often she is denied the visit. During his captivity, Ibrahim enrolled at the Open University at the Department of Political and Social Science, and received a BA. He also wrote a number of books and researches. 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 will be free, and with the help of his friends, his sister and her family, he is building a house for himself near his parents’ house. Israel refused to include him in any previous prisoner exchange deal, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Rushdi Abu Mukh with his mother © google images

Rushdi Abu Mukh with his mother © google images

5. Rushdi Hamdan Mohammad Abu Mukh, 55 years old, from Baqa Al-Ghabriyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.03.1986 (31 years, 1 month, 14 days – total days: 11,368)
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 as a blacksmith in a metal workshop owned by his brothers in manufacturing iron doors and windows. Rushdi was engaged, and preparing for his marriage, when he was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 24.03.1986. That day, he came back home tired from work, and went immediately to lie down and have a nap due to be very tired. Later at night, the Israeli occupation forces raided the family home, kidnapped him and took his passport. On the same day, an arrest campaign was launched, targeting a number of his comrades; Ibrahim Abu Mukh was also kidnapped on the same day, Walid Duqqa was kidnapped the following day, while Ibrahim Bayadsa was kidnapped on 26.03.1986. Others were arrested as well, including martyr Ibrahim Al-Ra’i, who was tortured to death in Israeli interrogation cells. During interrogation, they were all subjected to all forms of torture, both physical and psychological, and were accused of membership in the PFLP, receiving military training in a PFLP base in Syria, and membership in a military cell that kidnapped and killed an Israeli occupation soldier in 1984. The Lyd occupation military court charged Rushdi with membership in the PFLP, the possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance operations in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Like Ibrahim, after his sentence, Rushdi broke his engagement. He has been since transferred to several occupation jails. Both his father and brother Mohammad died during his captivity, and his mother used to visit him, until her health deteriorated and prevented her from leaving the house, but she still hopes and longs for the day when Rushi is released and to hug him. Rushi suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, underwent 2 catheterizations, and takes 4 insulin shots 28 pills a day, and due to his medical condition, he was given special permission by the prison doctor to stay in the prison yard from morning to evening, which he uses to help other prisoners, such as working in the canteen, in the laundry, in the library or distributes food to the cells, and cleans the yard. Despite his long captivity and his medical state, Rushdi is always laughing and joking and is very helpful to his fellow comrades. Israel refused to include him in any previous prisoner exchange deal, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Walid Daqqa © google images

Walid Daqqa © google images

6. Walid Nimer As’ad Duqqa, 57 years old, from Baqa Al-Ghabriyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 25.03.1986 (31 years, 1 month, 13 days – total days: 11,367)
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 on 25.03.1986. On the same day, an arrest campaign was launched targeting a number of his comrades; Ibrahim and Rushdi Abu Mukh were kidnapped on 24.03.1986, while Ibrahim Bayadsa was kidnapped on 26.03.1986. Others were arrested as well, including martyr Ibrahim Al-Ra’i, who was tortured to death in Israeli interrogation cells. During interrogation, they were all subjected to all forms of torture, both physical and psychological, and were accused of membership in the PFLP, receiving military training in a PFLP base in Syria, and membership in a military cell that kidnapped and killed an Israeli occupation soldier in 1984. The Lyd occupation military court charged Ibrahim with membership in the PFLP, the possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance operations 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. During imprisonment, Sana’ Salameh, an activist for prisoner rights from At-Tireh, proposed to Walid and he accepted, and they were married in a special ceremony in jail in 1999. Members of Walid’s family members were present at the “wedding”, and was the first time they were able to hug him since his detention. He is considered one of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement, and 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 has several publications on the struggle of the prisoners’ movement, Zionist policies and a play on the situation of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli dungeons that was played in several national theatres. Walid was isolated several times as punishment for his activism. In December 2016, Walid’s brother As’ad was detained and interrogated with, together with former Knesset member Basil Ghattas, on charges of smuggling mobile phones to prisoners. On 25.01.2017, Walid was transferred to solitary confinement, despite his difficult health condition, under the pretext of “communicating with his lawyer”. He suffers from a blood disease that causes an abundance in the red blood cells, which necessitates a blood clotting procedure twice a weeks and taking appropriate medication. He does not receive the appropriate medical treatment and this situation is worsened by deliberate medical negligence and isolation. Thus, he decided to decline be treated in the prison clinic due to his isolation and because the treatment provided is not appropriate to his condition. 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.” Israel refused to include him in any previous prisoner exchange deal, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Ibrahim Bayadseh © google images

Ibrahim Bayadseh © google images

7. Ibrahim Abdel Raziq Ahmad Bayadsa, 55 years old, from Baqa Al-Gharbiyyeh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.03.1986 (31 years, 1 month, 12 days – total days: 11,366)
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. Two days earlier, an arrest campaign was launched, targeting a number of his comrades; Ibrahim and Rushdi Abu Mukh were kidnapped on 24.03.1986, and Walid Duqqa was kidnapped on 25.03.1986. Others were arrested as well, including martyr Ibrahim Al-Ra’i, who was tortured to death in Israeli interrogation cells. During interrogation, they were all subjected to all forms of torture, both physical and psychological, and were accused of membership in the PFLP, receiving military training in a PFLP base in Syria, and membership in a military cell that kidnapped and killed an Israeli occupation soldier in 1984. The Lyd occupation military court charged Ibrahim with membership in the PFLP, the possession of weapons and explosives and carrying out resistance operations in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. During his captivity, Ibrahim was transferred to several jails, as he actively participates in protest actions, and was isolated 7 years as punishment. During his long isolation, Ibrahim transformed from the socialist Marxist thought to the Islamic thought, and after being called “Abu Lenin” for long, he is now nicknamed “Abu Ismael”. Ibrahim speaks fluent English, and excels at Arabic grammar, and taught a number of detainees Arabic and Hebrew, and received BA in Political Science from the Hebrew Open University while in captivity. Like most prisoners. Ibrahim suffers from health conditions worsened by deliberate medical negligence; he suffers from high blood pressure and migraine. His mother Hajja Aisha, who died in 2015, was very active in the solidarity movement for political prisoners and participated in most activities in support of Palestinian political prisoners. Additionally, his brother Abu Walid is member of the support group for political prisoners and their families. His mother was considered a mother for all Palestinian political prisoners and they all knew her and waited for her visit. 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 travelled 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. She died hoping to see her son free. Israel refused to include him in any previous prisoner exchange deal, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Ahmad Abu Jaber © google images

Ahmad Abu Jaber © google images

8. Ahmad Ali Hussein Abu Jaber, 56 years old, from Kufr Qasem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.07.1986 (30 years, 10 months – total days: 11,262)
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 aluminium doors and windows. In 1978, Ahmad got married and became father to 2 sons and 1 daughter. 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 at the Open University to study Social Science, and he writes poems and articles on political topics. At the time of his detention, his youngest child was three months old, now his three children are grown up and are all 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…”. Ahmad is considered one of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement. He wrote several articles, poems and novels while in captivity. In 2012, Ahmad’s lawyer appealed to Israeli courts to determine the length of his life sentence, as was the case with other 7 prisoners from Palestinian areas occupied in 1948, whose life sentence was determined with a specific number of years, after which they will be released, but the appeal was rejected under the pretext that he was sentenced in a military court in Nablus and not in the Lyd court, which means that Ahmad will remain in jail until his death. Ahmad was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Samer Abu Nemeh © google images

Samer Abu Nemeh © google images

9. Sameer Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Ne’meh, 56 years old, from Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 20.10.1986 (30 years, 6 months, 18 days – total days: 11,158)
Sameer was born on 04.11.1960. In 1980s, he went to Jordan to study hotel management, after which he returned home. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 20.10.1986 from Salah Ideen street in occupied Jerusalem, 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, bombing bus 18 in Jerusalem and assisting in providing Palestinian resistance fighters with guns. He was sentenced based on the “confession of others” to life imprisonment. Moreover, his family’s house in Abu Dees was demolished although it is not the property of the family but a rented house. He is constantly punished for his activism within the prison and his participation in mass hunger strikes; he was often tortured, placed in solitary confinement or transferred from one prison to another. One time, Sameer 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, Sameer suffers from various health problems, including rheumatism and chronic pains in the neck, back and hand, bad sight, toothache and blood allergy, meaning he needs special food, which he never gets. He was transferred to the prison “clinic” 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. During his long captivity, Sameer sat for the Tawjihi, but was denied by the IPA to enrol for a BA in a Palestinian University. He teaches fellow prisoners Hebrew and loves reading and sports. Sameer lost his mother and two brothers while in captivity. His brother Walid says that Sameer’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, Sameer 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.”

Mohammad Daoud © google images

Mohammad Daoud © google images

10. Mohammad Adel Hassan Daoud, 50 years old, from Qalqilya. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.12.1987 (29 years, 5 months – total days: 10,744)
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. He received a life sentence, and his house was demolished. Mohammad is active with the prison movement and participated in various hunger strikes, and was punished through being constantly transferred to several prisons, and with solitary confinement. He suffers from various chronic illnesses, such as toothache and his teeth are falling, chronic stomach ache 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. He lost his parents while in captivity and the Israeli prison authority did not allow him to say farewell to them. One incident the family remembers with great sorrow was the day when Mohammad’s father was preparing to visit him the following day, but had a fatal stroke on the morning of the visit. His brother Daoud relates the incident: “The day before the visit, my father put personal photos in his jacket pocket so as not to forget them, at midnight, and hours before the planned time to go to the Red Cross bus, my father had a heart attack and was transferred to hospital. He died 5 days later. We were very sad, for my father has died and my brother was denied seeing him. When we visited Mohammad, he spoke about the torture of not being able to say goodbye to his father.” Also, Mohammad’s wish was to see him before her death, but her wish remained unfulfilled. Mohammad is allowed one visit per year. He was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. Mohammad’s brother says: “We await a new swap deal, and as family will not forgive anyone if the longest serving prisoners, including my brother, are not the first to be released, for it is not acceptable that our prisoners remain so long behind bars. 30 years are enough to knock on the walls of the tank and they have knocked strongly… my message is clear; it is enough that the longest serving prisoners continue to pay the price of life after 3 decades in captivity, the doors and windows and stones of the jails have been replaced, while they remain in captivity, and a new generation of the family has come to life, married and has kids and my brother is still in captivity, this is the utmost torture”.

Basheer Khatib © google images

Basheer Khatib © google images

11. Basher Abdallah Kamel Al-Khatib, 55 years old, from Ar-Ramleh. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 01.01.1988 (29 years, 4 months, 7 days – total days: 10,720)
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 01.01.1988, 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, and following intensive legal efforts, the life sentence was defined as 35 years. All his children married and have their own families while he is still in Israeli captivity. In March 2015, the IPA allowed his grandchildren to visit him after a petition by his lawyer to the Israeli central court, as grandchildren are usually prohibited from visits under the pretext that they are not first degree relatives like a mother, father or sibling. Basher was transferred between various jails, and subjected to all forms of harassment and violations by the IPA. Israel refused to include him in any previous prisoner exchange deal under the pretext that he is holder of a blue ID, but he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Mahmoud Jabareen © google images

Mahmoud Jabareen © google images

12. Mahmoud Othman Ibrahim Jabbareen, 53 years old, from Um Il-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 08.10.1988 (28 years, 7 months – total days: 10,439)
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, but after 20 years of his imprisonment, Mahmoud’s life sentence was determined by 30 years. During his captivity, he enrolled in the Open University. Mahmoud was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Mahmoud Abu Kharbeesh © google images

Mahmoud Abu Kharbeesh © google images

13. Mahmoud Salim Suleiman Abu Kharbish, 53 years old, from Ein Al-Sultan refugee camp, Jericho. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 13.10.1988 (28 years, 6 months, 25 days – total days: 10,434)
Mahmoud was born in 02.06.1965 in Jericho, is married and has 1 daughter, and worked as a farmer. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers on 13.10.1988, was accused of committing a resistance operation in Jericho in 1988, in which 5 Israel occupation soldiers were killed, and was sentenced to life in prison. Mahmoud finished high school while in captivity and enrolled at Al-Quds Open University to do a BA in Political Science. He also 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 constant 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 appropriate 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 and was transferred to various jails. He lost his father while in captivity, and his daughter Asma’, who was 7 months old when Mahmoud was kidnapped, finished her university education, 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.” Mahmoud was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Jum'a Adam © google images

Jum’a Adam © google images

14. Jum’a Ibrahim Jum’a Adam, 47 years old, from Ramallah. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 31.10.1988 (28 years, 6 months, 8 days – total days: 10,416)
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 sat for his high school exam and completed his BA while in captivity, and is currently working on his MA in Israeli Studies at Al-Quds Open University. He 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, such as suffering once from a sudden drops in blood haemoglobin, which necessitated that he be rushed to so-called Ramle Clinic. Jum’a was transferred to various jails during his long years in captivity. His mother died and he was not able to say his final farewell to her. 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.” He is currently denied family visits. Jum’a was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Samer Sirsawi © google images

Samer Sirsawi © google images

15. Sameer Saleh Taha Sirsawi, 49 years old, from Ibtin, Haifa. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.11.1988 (28 years, 5 months, 14 days – total days: 10,392)
Sameer 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 Sameer to life imprisonment. Sameer suffers from various diseases, such as problems with the thyroid gland, and due to deliberate medical negligence and not receiving appropriate treatment, whereby the IPA allowed a specialized doctor to see him only once, his health worsened, and started suffering from side effects, such as fainting. He received his high school degree while in captivity, enrolled in the Open University and received both a BA and MA in Social Sciences. He lost his father and younger brother while in captivity, and when his father passed away, Sameer was prevented from participating in the funeral. His mother Farida, 85 years old, used to visit him whenever she received permission from the IPA, and was nicknamed “Mother of the Prisoners”, until she became too ill to leave the house. She suffers from Alzheimer and confined to a wheelchair. Her only wish was to hug him before she dies.

Ra'ed Alsa'di with his father © google images

Ra’ed Alsa’di with his father © google images

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 (27years, 8 months, 10 days – total days: 10,115)
Ra’id was born in As-Sileh Al-Harthiyyeh in Jenin on 20.02.1966, and has 6 brothers and 5 sisters. He was first arrested in 1984 while a school student, and was held captive for 6 months for raising the Palestinian flag on a power mast in his village. After his release, he went back to school, and sat for the Tawjihi exam, and despite his good grades, he was not able to enrol at a university because of the outbreak of the First Intifada and his activism in it. Ra’id was active in resisting the occupation, and was wanted by the Israeli occupation forces for several years. During this time, Israeli occupation soldiers 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, Ra’id was kidnapped by Israeli military special forces while undercover visiting his family. He was subjected to all forms of torture during interrogation that lasted 3 months, and was accused of membership in the Islamic Jihad, accused of being one of the leaders of Saraya Al-Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, resisting the Israeli occupation and conducting military operations that led to the death of Zionist colonists and occupation soldiers. He was sentenced two life imprisonments 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, and his health situation worsened with the deliberate medical negligence by the IPA. 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. In an interview, Ra’id’s father says: “His release is 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.” Ra’id was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. When his wife dies, Ra’id’s father said: “She fought the illness and the pain all these years, and before she could hug him she died in June 2014, 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.” In 2016, father and son were finally allowed to meet, and although the visit was restricted to 10 minutes only, they were finally able to hug each other after 10 years of separation.

Faris Baroud © google images

Faris Baroud © google images

17. Faris Ahmad Mohammad Baroud, 57 years old, from Shati’ refugee camp, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 23.03.1991 (26 years, 1 month, 15 days – total days: 9,543)
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 and 35 years. During his long captivity, he was transferred to all Israeli jails, and participated in all protest actions organized by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, including hunger strikes. Faris was isolated for more than 4 years for being declared a “security threat” and released in 2016 from isolation to a regular cell. He suffers from asthma, stomach ache and is denied any medication or treatment. Faris’s mother, who is in her 70s, was not allowed to see him, her only and orphaned son for over 24 years. He was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. When she was first told that her son will be released, she was very happy, bought him new clothes, and prepared his room and washed and aired all his clothes so they are warm when he wears them. But she collapsed and fainted, and had to be taken to hospital, after hearing the news about Israel’s decision not to release the prisoners. The sadness and the disappointment caused her to lose her sight, She says: “I hope to relive the moments when all residents of the refugee camp gathered in front of the house and starting preparing for Faris’ return… everyone was happy because I will not be alone again…. If I lost my eyesight for crying so much because I miss Faris, I can still hug him when he is free from jail, and this is enough for me before I die, because it is true I don’t see a thing anymore but my heart sees… I hope all Arab and foreign countries would help me and release my son… The last time I went to visit him in jail, I had to go up 50 steps, and then to be told to go back home for there was no visit…. 15 years I have not visited him.” Nonetheless, Faris’ mother continues to participate in all solidarity action with the political prisoners, especially the weekly protest every Monday in front of the Red Cross Office in Gaza, where she holds the photo of her son. Her only wish is to hear his voice before she dies, and she keeps repeating one sentence: ” I want to hug my son Faris before I die”. 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. “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.”

Ibrahim and Mohammad Ighbariyyeh with their parents © google images

Ibrahim and Mohammad Ighbariyyeh with their parents © google images

18. Ibrahim Sa’id Hasan Ighbariyyeh, 51 years old, from Msherfeh, Um Al-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.02.1992 (25 years, 2 months, 12 days – total days: 9,203)
19. Mohammad Sa’id Hasan Ighbariyyeh, 49 years old, from Msherfeh, Um Al-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 26.02.1992 (25 years, 2 months, 12 days – total days: 9,203)
Ibrahim and Mohammad are two brother from Msherfeh. 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 labour market and worked in manufacturing aluminium 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 a week later their comrades Yahya Ighbariyyeh and Mohammad Jabbareen were also kidnapped. The four from Um-Al-Fahim were subjected to torture during interrogation, and accused of membership in the prohibited organization Fateh, the possession of weapons and explosives, carrying out a resistance military operation in an Israeli occupation military camp, the Gilad Military Camp Operation, which took place on 15.02.1995 in ‘Ara Valley and resulted in the killing of three Israeli occupation soldiers. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced each of the four to 3 life imprisonments and 15 years. During their long captivity, the brothers were often transferred between various jails. They enrolled in the Hebrew Open University, and Mohammad received his Masters in Political Science, and published 4 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, and Ibrahim wrote 1 book. Mohammad was married to Ruqayyah just before his detention, and after his sentence, he asked her his wife 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 Qa’dan, from ‘Arraba in Jenin, proposed to Ibrahim, and he accepted. They got married in a special ceremony, and in 2015, the IPA allowed them to meet only once while in captivity. Their father and eldest brother Mahmoud died and they didn’t have the chance to say their final farewells, as Israeli prison authorities did not allow them to attend the funerals. 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.” The IPA refuses to release to release Ibrahim and Mohammad in any prisoner exchange deal, but they were supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Yahya Ighbariyyeh with his mother © google images

Yahya Ighbariyyeh with his mother © google images

20. Yahya Mustapha Mohammad Ighbariyyeh, 47 years old, from Msherfeh, Um Al-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.03.1992 (25 years, 2 months, 5 days – total days: 9,197)
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, together with Mohammad Jabbareen, a week after the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the two brothers Ibrahim and Mohammad Ighbariyyeh. The four from Um-Al-Fahim were subjected to torture during interrogation, and accused of membership in the prohibited organization Fateh, the possession of weapons and explosives, carrying out a resistance military operation in an Israeli occupation military camp, the Gilad Military Camp Operation, which took place on 15.02.1995 in ‘Ara Valley and resulted in the killing of three Israeli occupation soldiers. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced each of the four to 3 life imprisonments and 15 years. Yahya’s mother died while he is in captivity, her only wish was to see him free before her death. She spent the last 25 years of her life travelling from one prison to the next to visit her son, until she became sick and too weak to move, and spent her last days waiting for her son’s releases. Months before her death, she was preparing to welcome him home, as he was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. Yahya wasn’t allowed to attend her funeral.

Mohammad Jabbareen © google images

Mohammad Jabbareen © google images

21. Mohammad Tawfiq Mohammad Suleiman Jabbareen, 63 years old, from Um Al-Fahim. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 04.03.1992 (25 years, 2 months, 5 days – total days: 9,197)
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, together with Yahya Ighbariyyeh, a week after the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped the two brothers Ibrahim and Mohammad Ighbariyyeh. The four from Um-Al-Fahim were subjected to torture during interrogation, and accused of membership in the prohibited organization Fateh, the possession of weapons and explosives, carrying out a resistance military operation in an Israeli occupation military camp, the Gilad Military Camp Operation, which took place on 15.02.1995 in ‘Ara Valley and resulted in the killing of three Israeli occupation soldiers. The Lyd occupation military court sentenced each of the four to 3 life imprisonments and 15 years. Mohammad is married since 1971 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. Like the majority of Palestinian political prisoners, Mohammad is subjected to deliberate medical negligence by the IPA, despite suffering from various health problems, including stomach ache, weight loss, weakness, and following medical tests, it turned out that his haemoglobin level is very low. In 2014, he was rushed to so-called Ramle Clinic due to deterioration in his health. Mohammad was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Diya' Falouji © google images

Diya’ Falouji © google images

22. Diya’ Zakariya Shakir Al-Agha Alfaluji, 39 years old, from Khan Younis, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 10.10.1992 (24 years, 6 months, 28 days – total days: 8,976)
Diya’ was born in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on 19.04.1975. His Zakariya father was a freedom fighter and a prisoner during the war of October 1973. At the age of 17, the Israeli occupation army raided the house of Diya’s sister at midnight looking for him. That day, the family had tried to smuggle him out of Gaza, but was too late. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces, and his mother and cousins were taken for interrogation as well. Diya’ was subjected to torture during the interrogation, and threatened with collective punishment against his entire family. He was accused of killing an Israeli occupation security officer at the Ghush Qatif Zionist colony on 14.01.1991. 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 sentenced to life imprisonment, and was prohibited from seeing his parents for long years. During the long captivity, Diya’ participated in various hunger strikes organized by the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, and every six months was transferred to a new jail. On 11.11.2005, his father went to visit him, but was not allowed to enter by the occupation, he went home heartbroken and had a heart attack that killed him. “His wish was to see his son before his death”. Diya’ was not allowed to say farewell to him. His mother used to visit him every 15 days, until in 2007 when she was not able to visit him anymore, for 6 years. In 2012, Diya’s elderly mother was allowed to visit him gain for the first time in years, but with strict conditions of the IPA and irregularly. The family would apply for a visit, but have to wait for the occupation’s approval, and his mother has to wait months to be able to see him a few minutes. It is worth mentioning that Diya’s mother is head of the “Parents of Gaza Prisoners’ Committee”, where she talks about her son’s case and the case of all prisoners, visits families of other prisoners, and tries to help them and provide them with any information about their children. Diya’s mother describes her visit to Diya’: “We talk through the phone headset, and if the Israeli occupation officer standing nearby wants to cut off the call, he can do it at any time….. we are separated by a glass slab.”. Diya’ asks her constantly about new prisoner exchange deals. Diya’s brother, Mohammad, was detained on 05.05.2002 and sentenced to 13 years and a fine of 6000 NIS. When the names of the prisoners to be released in the prisoner exchange deal of 2011 were announced, she went to the Red Cross Office in Gaza, and searched for her sons’ names, and when she didn’t find them, she fainted and was taken to hospital. “I had great hopes”. Mohammad was released on 04.05.2015, after he finished his sentence, but she still awaits the release of Diya’.

Mohammad Falneh © google images

Mohammad Falneh © google images

23. Mohammad Fawzi Salameh Falneh, 53 years, from Safa, Ramallah. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 29.11.1992 (24 years, 5 months, 9 days – total days: 8,926)
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 1989 and sentenced to 14 months in captivity, where he was much respected by other prisoners. During this imprisonment, he met prominent leaders of the Islamic jihad, including martyr Issam Barahmeh with whom he became close friends. After his release, he met Barahmeh and they established a resistance military cell of the Islamic jihad with the aim of carrying out resistance operations against the Israeli occupation. On 29.11.1992, Mohammad was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces, 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. During the long harsh interrogation, he was subjected to all forms of torture, was denied family visits, and was isolated in an underground section in Ramle jail for a whole year. Mohammad was sentenced by an Israeli military court to life imprisonment. 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, with the exception of one visit yearly by his parents for half an hour who were doubly searched and subjected to harsh and humiliating treatment. 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 he 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. He was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. His brother Ahmad says: “You are free behind the barriers my brother, you are free with those shackles, and if you are not amongst us in body, you are with us in soul”.

Naser and Mahmoud Abu Srur © google images

Naser and Mahmoud Abu Srur © google images

24. Naser Hasan Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, 45 years old, from Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 04.01.1993 (24 years, 4 months, 4 days – total days: 8,890)
25. Mahmoud Jamil Hasan Abu Srour, 44 years old, from Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 05.01.1993 (24 years, 4 months, 3 days – total days: 8,889)
Naser and Mahmoud are cousins, and were students at Bethlehem University. Israeli occupation forces accused them, together with their cousin martyr Maher Abu Srour, of killing a Shabak officer in 1993 in occupied Jerusalem. Maher was extra-judicially executed 6 months later in Bethlehem by the Israeli occupation forces. Both Naser and Mahmoud were kidnapped and subjected to torture while in interrogation. They were sentenced to life imprisonment. During his long captivity, Mahmoud enrolled at the Hebrew Open University and received a BA and MA in Political Science. The majority of their family members were not allowed to visit them, and those allowed were rarely given permission. Mahmoud’s father used to take the hard trip to visit his son despite his health problems, until he died. Mahmoud was not allowed to bid him farewell. Mahmoud’s mother Sabha continued to visit him until she became too weak and ill to leave the house. In 2013, both cousins were supposed to be released as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. Their families had prepared to finally welcome them home, but were greatly disappointed. Mahmoud’s mother 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.” Naser was denied family visits for 7 years, then allowed only 1 visit every 2 years, and for the last 4 years he was allowed a visit every 15 days. Like Mahmoud, he lost his father while in captivity and was not allowed to bid him farewell. His mother Mazyuna, 75 years old, 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 again. She recalled when she visited him: ”When I visited him in Ramle 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”. Mazyuna recalls how in 2013, when the Israeli occupation was supposed to release 30 prisoners, the Israeli occupation officer taunted her and said: “Your son will be released, you are hopeful, you want to celebrate”. She replied: “Yes, I will celebrate, will slaughter a calf, and dance and will arrange for his wedding.” She says: “I fear for my son’s life… and hope to see him and to hug him before I die”. Mazyuna is always present in the solidarity tent with the hunger strikers, she says: “When I am in the tent, I feel my son Naser by my side, I feel him and live with him minute for minute…. days pass and I don’t know the taste of food except water… the love of my heart, how can I eat and my son is not eating!!” Naser’s spoke with his mother recently, and he told her: “Yamma take care of yourself, I am going on hunger strike… as long as you are okay, I will be strong, and I am like the rest of prisoners.” She carries photos of both cousins, and says she has two sons in jail: “Following the death of Mahmoud’s mother 2 years ago, I swore to God that he will be my second son, I visit him before I visit my son Naser.” Currently both are isolated for their participation in the Karama mass open hunger strike.

Mahmoud Issa © google images

Mahmoud Issa © google images

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 (23 years, 11 months, 5 days – total days: 8,740)
Mahmoud was born on 21.05.1968 in ‘Anata, and has 5 sisters and 3 brothers. After graduating from school, he studied medical analysis at Al-Asriyah College in Beitunya, Ramallah, and later he worked for 2 years as an office director for Sawt al-Haq wa al-Hurriyah newspaper that was published in Um Al-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. On 03.06.1993, 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, whereby Israeli occupation soldiers surrounded his house and kidnapped him and 3 of his brothers. Mahmoud was held in isolation for months, where he was subjected to torture during interrogation. He 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 for a whole year. 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 ‘Asqalan 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 2000, Mahmoud was held again in solitary confinement for a whole year. 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 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 remained 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 were allowed into the “yard”, their hands were tied to the back, and untied upon their return to their cell. Mahmoud was released from isolation to a regular cell following the Karama mass open hunger strike, launched by Palestinian political prisoners in May 2012 against the policy of solitary confinement. 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 in a step to torture him psychologically 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. Mahmoud’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. Mahmoud’s sister Um Obadah says: “He was able to send us a photo of him after years in jail, and we still pictured him young as the day he was detained, but when we saw his photo, and saw him older and his hair grey we were stunned and would not believe it is him… how quickly time passes and days pass… You have grown older by imprisonment, my brother… the captivity has stolen you from us, affectionate brother, and you have been sentenced by the occupation unfairly and have paid the price for your love for Palestine… but stand tall because of your morale and patience, and their power was not able to undermine your resolve despite all that has happened to you.” At the end of 2011, the Israeli occupation authorities released members of Mahmoud’s military cell in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, but the Shabak refused to release him saying that he is among the most dangerous prisoners, and refused to release him again in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. It is worth mentions that Mahmoud likes paining, writing, and handicrafts, and during his long imprisonment, he read a lot and wrote a number of books on religion, resistance and the struggle. For the last 23 years, Mahmoud’s mother Hajja Aisha wakes up at dawn every day, touches the picture of her son, kisses it and prays for his release.

Mohammad Shamsneh © google images

Mohammad Shamsneh © google images

27. Mohammad Yousef Abdel Jawad Shamasneh, 46 years old, from Qatanna, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 12.11.1993 (23 years, 5 months, 26 days – total days: 8,578)
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 after all these years; 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 in interrogation cells for 45 days, without his family knowing why he was detained, where he was subjected to all forms of torture. His brother Abdel-Jawad and his cousin Ibrahim Shamasneh were also kidnapped. Mohammed was accused of participating in the killing of three Zionist colonists in 1993 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, despite not admitting to the charges. 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.

Abdel Jawad Shamasneh © google images

Abdel Jawad Shamasneh © google images

28. Abdel Jawad Yousif Abdel Jawad Shamasneh, 54 years old, from Qatanna, Jerusalem (holds West Bank ID). Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 12.12.1993 (23 years, 4 months, 26 days – total days: 8,548)
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.

Ala' Karaki © google images

Ala’ Karaki © google images

29. Ala’ Iddin Fahmi Fahd Al-Karaki, 44 years old, from Hebron. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 17.12.1993 (23 years, 4 months, 21 days – total days: 8,543)
Ala’ Al-Karaki was born on 01.01.1973 in Hebron. On 17.12.1993, a large number of Israeli occupation soldiers raided the family house in Hebron, and found Ala’ sitting on a couch watching TV and eating his favourite local winter desert. The Israeli occupation officer was angry, and asked him sarcastically: “Are you happy”, to which Ala’ answered forcefully: “Yes, I am happy in my home.” His mother says that he was strong and courageous, and his reply provoked the Israeli officer. Ala’ and two of his friends were detained that day, but the two friends were released later. During interrogation, Diya’ was subjected to various forms of torture, but nonetheless, and despite his young age at the time, he never admitted to anything. When his mother finally got permit to visit him in so-called Ramle Clinic, where he was transferred as a result of the torture he was subjected to, she could see the marks of severe beating and torture, including missing fingernails. Diya’ was tried by Israeli occupation courts, and was accused of the responsibility for killing a Zionist colonist in revenge for the martyrs of Al-Ibrahimi massacre, when Israeli terrorist Baruch Goldstein killed tens of Palestinian worshippers during dawn prayer in Al-Ibrahimi mosque. He received a life sentence and 20 years. During his long captivity, Ala’ was often isolated for long periods, but he used the time to finish his high school education and received a BA in Political Science. Often, family visit permits are denied, and when Ala’s family members do get permits, they are humiliated and then allowed only half an hour to see him from behind a glass window and hear his voice through the phone. Ala’ was supposed to be released in 2011 in the prisoner swap deal with Hamas, and his family was happy and started preparing for his release, but Israel removed his name. His father was so sad and disappointed that he died. Ala’ was not allowed to say farewell to him. Again in 2013, he was supposed to be released as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise. The family was again disappointed, they had started building a house for him and prepared to welcome him. Diya’s elderly mother still prays and wishes to see her son before she dies. She says that Diya’ still dreams of a plate of shi’iriyeh and sugar, a favourite plate of his. He had asked his mother to prepare it for him the day he was detained. She adds: “One day I received an envelope from him and inside was a paper written on it: “Mother you have planted a tree and it’s time to pick the fruits of that tree.” With the letter I found his BA degree. I cried so much out of happiness for his achievement and out of sadness that he is so far away.”

Sa'di Gharably © google images

Sa’di Gharably © google images

30. Sa’di Khalil Mahmoud Al-Gharabli, 70 years old, from Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 01.01.1994 (23 years, 4 months, 7 days – total days: 8,528)
Sa’di was born in Al-Shuja’iyyah neighbourhood in Gaza. He is married and father to 10 children. Sa’di was stopped at an Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank, while on his way to Gaza, and was detained by occupation soldiers and taken to interrogation cells. He was accused of membership in Hamas movement, and killing an occupation officer in the West Bank. An Israeli military court sentenced him to life imprisonment. Like many Palestinian political prisoners, Sa’di is denied medical treatment and is subjected to deliberate medical negligence by the IPA, although he suffers from various health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels in blood, weak hearing and weak vision, whereby his sight is only 20% and there is fear that he might lose his sight completely if not provided with appropriate treatment. Despite his old age and medical situation, Sa’di was often isolated, most recently in Majido prison. He is denied family visits since 2002, and his family knows about his condition only through the Red Cross and from others who visit their relatives in Israeli jails. It is worth mentioning that Sa’di is father of martyr Ahmad Al-Gharabli, who was martyred in 2002 following an armed clash with Israeli occupation soldiers. Martyr Ahmad was 20 years old at the time.

Mohamad Arqan © google images

Mohamad Arqan © google images

31. Mohammad Nabil Amer Mohammad Al-‘Arqan, 58 years old, from Hebron. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.02.1995 (22 years, 2 months, 14 days – total days: 8,109)
Mohammad is married and has 4 children. He was kidnapped on 17.12.1993, and was accused of membership in a military cell and participating in a resistance operation in which 3 Israeli occupation soldiers were killed. This resistance cell included martyr Na’im Shawamreh from Dura, Hebron, who was released in 2013 after spending 20 years in jail, as part of the deal between the PA and Israel to release Palestinian political prisoners in 4 groups in return for re-launching direct negotiations, but he was martyred shortly after his release, on 17.8.2016, at the age of 46 years due to medical negligence he was subjected to while in Israeli captivity. Mohammad was sentenced by an Israeli military court to life imprisonment. He suffers from health problems, including a benign tumour in the liver since 15 years, which was not removed due to the deliberate medical negligence by the IPA. The only treatment Mohammad receives in the form of sedatives, as the tumour causes him sever pains, in addition to headache. Mohammad has been denied family visits since 2000 for “security reasons”, except by his wife, and when his son Firas applied for a visit permit, it was denied under the pretext that “they are not related”.

Ayman Sidir © google images

Ayman Sidir © google images

32. Ayman Abdel Majid ‘Ashour Sidir, 49 years old, from Jerusalem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 13.05.1995 (21 years, 11 months, 25 days – total days: 8,031)
Ayman is married and has one some who was 4 months old when his father was detained. He was first detained by Israeli occupation forces in 1991 for 6 months for his activism in Hamas. After his release, he intensified his resistance work, and created a military cell in the West Bank with the aim of kidnapping Israeli occupation soldiers and swapping them with Palestinian political prisoners. The cell was financed personally by its members, and had no direct connection with Al-Qassam Brigades, but Al-Qassam knew about the cell and contacted its members. Ayman was asked to go to Gaza to meet Mohammad Al-Daif, the General Commander of Al-Qassam. His role was driving martyrs to where resistance operations where to take place. On 13.05.1995, Ayman was detained at Beit Hanoun Israeli military checkpoint while on his way to the West Bank from the Gaza Strip. Days before, Ayman told his family to take his wife to their home without mentioning a reason. After his detention, the Israeli occupation army raided his home and destroyed its contents. His fate was not clear, and his family tried to locate where he was, until a relative held in the Russian Compound (Al-Maskyiyyeh) told them that Ayman was detained there. In the Russian Compound (Al-Maskyiyyeh) in occupied Jerusalem, Ayman was subjected to a harsh interrogation in for over 5 months. He was classified by the Shabak as amongst the most dangerous prisoners, so he was subjected to all forms of torture to force him to confess, but he never did. He was accused of membership in Hamas, travelling to Gaza several times and meeting Hamas leaders, including Mohammad Al-Daif and Yahya Ayyash, transferring weapons and money from Gaza to the West Bank to support resistance operations, easing the tasks of Palestinians on their way to carry our martyrdom operations and helping them reach their destinations. His wife Suheir Halawani was 20 years old at the time, and would attend the court sessions carrying their 4-months old baby Mohammad. Ayman was constantly moved between military courts, and finally sentenced in 1997, two years after his arrest, and received one life sentence and 20 years. His house in Abu Dees was closed with baton following his detention. In 2013, 5 more years were added to the sentence for new charges while in jail, including the accusation of recruiting Israeli jailors to smuggle mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners. During his long captivity, Ayman was transferred in all jails and joined the mass open hunger strike of 2012 to protest the policy of isolation. His wife Suheir describes him as sociable person who was loved and who loved to help other,. He encouraged her to sit for the Tawjihi exam (high school exam), and pursue her BA, which she did and received her BA in Shari’a from Al-Quds University in Abu Dees and a Diploma in educational qualification from Bethlehem University. She said that he supported her all the time, provided her with courage and patience, and celebrated her graduation with his comrades in the prison cell. Ayman’s name was on the list of prisoners to be released in the Ahrar prisoner swap with Hamas in 2011, but the Israel refused to release him, as he was classified as among the most dangerous prisoners. His wife mentions an incident with her husband after the 2011 swap deal, when one Israeli occupation officer asked him sarcastically: “Aren’t you supposed to be out of jails by now?” to which Ayman replied with great trust and conviction: “Don’t worry, the resistance will kidnap another soldier to get me out of captivity”.

Abdel Naser Issa © google images

Abdel Naser Issa © google images

33. Abdel Naser Atallah Shakir Issa, 48 years old, from Balata refugee camp, Nablus. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 19.08.1995 (21 years, 8 months, 19 days – total days: 7,933)
Abdel Naser was born in 1968 in Nablus, but his family moved the following year to Balata refugee camp, after his father was detained and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and the demolition of their family house by the Israeli occupation forces. He has 4 brothers and 6 sisters, and most of Abdel Naser’s family members were detained by the Israeli occupation forces and spent various periods in Israeli captivity, his eldest sister was injured with a live bullet in 1976 during a protest on Land Day. Abdel Naser was injured by a live bullet in the upper thigh during confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in September 1982 in protest against the Sabra and Shatila massacre. He joined Hamas in 1983, and was detained for the first time in 1984 and sentenced for 2 years on charges of membership in Hamas and membership in a military cell responsible for throwing Molotov cocktails and bombs at Israeli occupation army patrols and possessing illegal pamphlets. He was detained again in 1986 following in confrontation with the Israeli occupation soldiers, and was injured by live bullets in both legs in confrontations during the First Intifada, and his mother by injured by 7 rubber bullets. During the period 1988 and 1993, Abdel Naser was detained several times for a total of 5 years on various charges, including activism with Hamas, helping wanted Palestinians and recruiting martyrs, and the family house was demolished again in 1989. During his imprisonment, he met a number of Hamas leaders, such as martyr Ahmad Al-Ja’bari. In 1994, he was declared wanted by the Shabak on accusation of being a leader in Al-Qassam Brigades, and during this period, he was able to create a number of military cells that carried out resistance operations in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948. Also, he was able to enter Gaza and met with Mohammad Al-Daif, the General Commander of Al-Qassam Brigades and martyr Yahya Ayyash, and plan resistance operations with him. On 19.08.1995, Abdel Naser was detained, together with his comrade Othman Bilal, in an ambush by Israeli occupation special forces near Nablus, after conducting a phone call with Ayyash from a public phone. Both were subjected to all forms of torture while in interrogation for 4 months. Abdel Naser was consider number 2 on the most wanted list, following Ayyash, who was number 1, and he was called “Engineer 2”, and was considered a “ticking bomb”. He was accused of responsibility for resistance operations between 1994 and 1995, especially 2 operation in occupied Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with 11 killed Israeli occupation soldiers. Despite the torture, Abdel Naser but did not confess or give any information on resistance operations, and nonetheless, he was sentenced to 2 life imprisonments, and Othman Bilal was sentenced to 1 life imprisonment. During his long captivity, Abdel Naser was often isolated for a total of over 7 years as punishment, and was always subjected to harassment and yearly interrogations over and over for long months, with new accusations, such as organizing cells in jail and planning to escape. 27 years were added to his sentence for planning to escape from jail through digging a tunnel and for his activism in jail. He went on hunger strike several times in protest of his isolation and ill-treatment. Abdel Naser played a major role in creating the First High Committee of Hamas Prisoners in jails in 2005 and elected its chairman. During his captivity, he published several research papers and wrote a book together with leaders Marwan Barthougthi and ‘Ahed Abu Ghalmeh, and enrolled at the Hebrew Open University and got his BA in Political Science and International Relations, despite many obstacles from the IPA, and two years later he got his first MA in Democracy Studies from the Hebrew Open University, and in 2014 a second MA in Israeli Studies from Al-Quds University in Abu Dees. Many of Abdel Naser’s relatives died while he is held captive, including both his parents. Family visits are rarely allowed, and in 2016 his brother was also detained, and despite requests to allow the brothers to meet, the IPA refused. Moreover, the IPA refuses to release Abdel Naser to prisoners exchange deals under the pretext of being “a danger to the security of Israel”.

Othman Bilal © google images

Othman Bilal © google images

34. Othman Sa’id Ahmad Sa’id (Bilal), 40 years old, from Nablus. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 19.08.1995 (21 years, 8 months, 19 days – total days: 7,933)
Othman was born on 27.05.1975 in Tallousa, Nablus. His father was one of the founders of Hamas movement, and Othman was very active in resisting the occupation since an early age. He was detained for the first time in 1993 before being 18 years old. He was accused of participating in a resistance operation in which 2 Israeli occupation soldiers were killed in Nablus. During interrogation, he was subjected to all forms of torture for 3 months, nonetheless, Othman did not confess to any of the charges he was accused of and he was only sentenced to 1 year in jail. After his release from captivity in 1994, Othman was subjected to an assassination attempt by Israeli occupation special forces, who shot at him with the aim of killing him, and although he was severely injured at the time, but he survived. He continued his resistance activism against the Israeli occupation, until he was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 19.08.1995, and was taken to an interrogation cell, where he was again subjected to all forms of torture, and accused of the membership in Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and helping carry out resistance operations against the Israeli occupation, and was sentenced to a life in jail. During his long captivity, Othman was transferred to all Israeli jails, and often punished with isolation for months. He attempted once to escape his captivity through digging a tunnel, but was discovered and punished with isolation. He is considered among the leaders of the Palestinian political prisoners’ movement in Israeli jails and was the chairman of the Higher Committee of Hamas Prisoners. He also enrolled at the Hebrew Open University to study Political Science, but due to various obstacles from the IPA, he changed to Journalism, but still faced various obstacles in his studies by the IPA, so decided to enrol at Al-Aqsa University and graduated with a BA in History. Othman suffers from various health problems and deliberate medical negligence. The IPA considers Othman as among the most dangerous prisoners and refuses to release him in any prisoner exchange deal.

35. Hamadallah Abdel Hadi Abdel Aziz Sarma, 42 years old, from Deir Dibwan, Ramallah. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.09.1995 (21 years, 8 moths, 2 days – total days: 7,915)
Hamadallah was kidnapped on 06.09.1995, and accused of carrying out resistance operations, in which Israeli occupation soldiers were killed. He was tortured while in interrogation, and held in solitary confinement several times and for long periods. He was sentenced by an Israeli military court to life in jail. Hamadallah health deteriorated while in captivity due to the deliberate medical negligence and procrastination by the IPA to provide him with medical treatment. Due to the long periods of isolations, and being confined in a solitary cell, Hamadallah’s mental and psychological state worsened, and he suffers from severe depression, doesn’t speak to anyone anymore, and is always silent. Moreover, he doesn’t respond to anything and is unfocused all the time. He was transferred to the psychiatric in the so-called Ramleh Clinic, and given a shot in his thigh, which caused him severe headache. The shot was given without his consent, and since then he has been kept sedated all the time.

Abdel Halim Balbisi © google images36. Abdel Halim Sakib Omar Al-Balbisi, 47 years old, from Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 06.12.1995 (21 years, 5 months, 2 days – total days: 7,824)
Abdel Halim was born on 03.04.1969 in Jabalia refugee camp, and his family is originally from Burqa village, ethnically cleansed during the Nakba of 1948. He has 5 sisters and 5 brothers, studied elementary school at the UNRWA school in Jabalia refugee camp, and later trained and worked as a tailor. He worked for several years, and became a businessman with his own independent business. Abdel Halim got married and has 3 sons, and was very active during the First Intifada. At the time, he was studding for his high school degree, when he was kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces and accused of participating in the resistance activities of the First intifada. Abdel Halim was detained again on 06.12.1995 at Beit Hanoun Israeli military checkpoint, while on way to issue work permit to work in areas occupied in 1948. He was taken to a detention center for interrogation, where he was subjected to all forms of torture by the Shabak for 3 months to force him to confess and give details about resistance operations. He was kidnapped with prisoner Nidal Bur’i, and both were accused of planning the Beit Leed resistance operation, which was carried out by martyrs Anwar Sukkar and Salah Shaker, and resulted in killing 23 Israeli occupation soldiers. Abdel Halim was sentenced to 23 life sentenced. During his long captivity, he was punished several times by the IPA, and transferred to various jails, and often held in solitary confinement for long periods. Both his mother and wife used to visit him whenever they receive permission from the IPA, but every time would be subjected to the harassment of the IPA personnel, and often denial of visit. His father and mother died while he is still in captivity, and his mother’s last visit to him was 2 years before her death in July 2007. Abdel Halim was supposed to be released in 2013 as part of the 30 Palestinian political prisoners who were to be released in a so-called good-will gesture by the Israeli government to re-launch unconditional negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but Israel, as usual, retracted on its promise.

Nidal Bur'i © google images

Nidal Bur’i © google images

37. Nidal Mohammad Mustafa Al-Bur’i, 47 years old, from Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 17.01.1996 (21 years, 3 months, 21 days – total days: 7,782)
Nidal was born on 23.02.1970 in Jabalia refugee camp, but is originally from Darma village, occupied in 1948, and his brother Mu’een carried out a resistance martyrdom operation in Darma in 1993. Nidal is married and has 3 sons. He studied Arabic Language at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, before leaving to Russia to study Psychology, but he was detained by Israeli occupation forces at the Rafah border on 17.01.1996. Nidal was accused of membership in Islamic Jihad, particularly in its military wing, and the participation in resistance operations targeting Israeli occupation forces. Moreover, he was accused of planning The Beit Leed resistance operation, carried out by martyrs Anwar Sukkar and Salah Shaker, and resulted in killing 24 Israeli occupation soldiers. During interrogation, Nidal was subjected to all forms of sever torture, but he never confessed to anything. He was sentenced by an Israeli military court to 30 years. During his captivity, he was often punished by the IPF, whereby he was transferred to various jails and was held in solitary confinement. He got his BA degree in Political Science from the Hebrew Open University while in jail. Nidal is considered one of leaders of the Islamic Jihad movement and one of the founders of its first military wing “Al-Qasam Brigades”. He speaks English, Hebrew, Russian and other languages, and is considered a walking dictionary. When Nidal was detained in 1996, his wife Manal was pregnant with his third son ‘Ammar, and his oldest son Mohammad was 2 years old. Manal who had studied IT, had to work as a sports teacher to support her family after her husband’s imprisonment. Today, his sons Mohammad and Mu’een have finished their university education, his youngest ‘Ammar finished his school education and planning to pursue his university education. When his son Mu’een got married, Nidal was able to send a recorded message which was played during the wedding, and which made everyone present cry.

Akram Aawasmi © google images

Akram Aawasmi © google images

38. Akram Ibrahim Mahmoud Qawasmi, 44 years old, from Ras Al-Amoud, Jerusalem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 28.03.1996 (21 years, 1 months, 10 days – total days: 7,711)
Akram was born on 11.01.1974 in Ras Al-Amoud, and has 6 brothers and 4 sisters. After finishing school, he started working as a van driver distributing sweets and food supplies to various stores in occupied Jerusalem and other cities in Palestinian areas occupied in 1948. On 28.03.1996 at 06:00 am, Akram was stopped by a flying Israeli military checkpoint in occupied Jerusalem, and held in interrogation cells for 80 days, where he was subjected to all forms of physical and psychological torture to force him to confess and provide information. He was accused of membership in Hamas and its military wing “Al-Qassam Brigades”, membership in a military cell composed of 7 Jerusalemites, easing the movement of Al-Qassam leader Hasan Salameh from Gaza to Hebron and driving martyrs to carry out resistance operations in occupied Jerusalem and ‘Asqalan in reply to the martyrdom of Yahya Ayyash. He was described by the Shabak as most dangerous, and was held in isolation for long periods of time, before he was sentenced one and half years after his arrest by an Israeli military court to 2 life imprisonments. Moreover, the Israeli military court ordered his family house sealed, but his lawyer appealed the order. While in captivity, Akram sat again for his high school exam, and started his BA studies. In 20015, Akram’s father died as a result of stroke while on hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners who were on an open hunger strike in Israeli jails. The Israeli Shabak continued to consider him a “ticking bomb”, and punished him through continuous transfer between jails, and isolation. Also, his mother was subjected to interrogation for more than 6 hours in the Russian Compound (Al-Maskubiyyeh) for no given reason.

Hasan Salameh © google images39. Hasan Abdel Rahman Hasan Salameh , 45 years old, from Khan Younis refugee camp, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 17.05.1996 (20 years, 11 months, 21 days – total days: 7,661)
Hasan was born on 09.08.1971 in Khan Younis. He was very active during the First Intifada, injured in leg during confrontations with the Israeli occupation forces, and was detained 5 times during the period 1988 to 1992; each time being sentenced to 6 months in administrative detention. Hasan joined the “Islamic Sa’iqa” groups created by Hamas, which were active in pursuing traitors and collaborators. When one member of Hasan’s group was detained by the IOF, he was told by Hamas to leave the country, and he spent some time travelling in Syria, Iran, Libya and Sudan, where he participated in various military trainings at the time. Following the Oslo Agreement, and PA’s control in Gaza, Hasan returned home, but was immediately arrested by PA security forces and spent 5 months in jail, until Hamas leadership intervened and he was released. Hasan then joined Al-Qassam Brigades, and worked directly side by side with leader Mohammad Al-Daif, and was good friends with Yahya Ayyash. He carried out a number of resistance operations against the Israeli occupation forces, after which he became wanted by both Israel and the PA. Following the martyrdom of Yahya Ayyash, Hasan requested from Al-Qassam leadership the permission to carry out a martyrdom operation in revenge for Ayyash, but his request was denied and he was authorized with the task of planning resistance operations in reply to the assassination of Ayyash. So, Hasan moved to the West Bank, and 40 days following the martyrdom of Ayyash, 3 martyrdom resistance operations were carried out, leaving 46 Zionists killed. This was termed “The Holy Revenge”. Both Israel and the PA accused Hasan of being behind the operations, and started a search for him. On 17.05.1996, Hasan’s car was stopped at a flying Israeli military checkpoint in Hebron. He was able to escape from the car, but the occupation soldiers shot him in the stomach before he disappeared. Hasan kept on running until he fainted from blood loss, and the residents took him to Alia hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery. By this time, the Israeli occupation forces surrounded the hospital and kidnapped the injured Hasan. He was subjected to all forms of torture during a 3 months interrogation, after the Shabak got the approval of the Israeli Higher Court under the pretext that Hasan is a ticking bomb and a danger to security of Israel. Hasan was accused of membership in Hamas and its military wing Al-Qassam, activism during the First Intifada, membership in “Islamic Sa’iqa” groups, responsibility for killing a traitor and attacking others, providing Al-Qassam with explosive material brought from abroad and a machine to grinding TNT, receiving military training abroad and living in hostile countries, planning 3 resistance operations with 46 killed Zionists. The Ramle military court sentenced Hasan to 48 life imprisonments and 20 years. A couple of years later, he was placed in solitary confinement for 13 years, whereby he was moved from one isolation cell to the next, until the mass hunger strike of 2012 ended his isolation. While in solitary confinement, Hasan lived in a small cell that lacks basic needs, and has only one small window that doesn’t allow air in. The cell is cold in winter and hot in summer, it is humid and filled with insects. Hasan was allowed only 1 hour daily out of the isolation cell into the small yard, but he was hand and leg-cuffed. He is often subjected to harassment and attacks by the jailors, and went on hunger strike several times to protest his isolation and ill treatment. The IPA wanted to break his soul and body through the solitary confinement, but instead Hasan wakes up every morning in his cell, plays sport, read the Quran, sings in defiance of the jailors and is full of hope. Hasan is considered a symbol of resistance, and one of Hamas’ leaders in jail, he has the longest sentence in the world, and is the longest serving Palestinian political prisoner to be held in isolation. During his long captivity, Hasan wrote a book on the “Hoy Revenge”. Former female prisoner Ghufran Al-Zamel from Nablus proposed to Hasan, and after hesitation, as he didn’t want her to spend her life waiting for him, and following his insistence, he agreed. They communicate through letters delivered through the Red Cross. Israel refuses to include Hasan in any exchange deal, and when Hamas wanted to free him in Al-Ahrar deal in 2011, Hasan insisted that his name be replaced by the names of all Palestinian female prisoners. Hasan is denied family visits since his detention. His mother was always present at the weekly protests at the Red Cross Office, until she became too ill to leave her bed. Her only wish was to see her son. She says: “Hasan my son, don’t be sad, God is with you and he is your supporter… Hasan, I wish from God that you are free soon so that I can kiss you on the forehead, I don’t care if I die afterwards, my son, because then I would have hugged you in body and soul and fulfilled my dream to smell you and hug you my beloved son.” Hasan keeps repeating: “The will of the prison will not break in us the will of hope.”

Mahmoud Arda © google images

Mahmoud Arda © google images

40. Mahmoud Abdallah Ali Al-‘Arda , 41 years old, from ‘Arraba, Jenin. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 21.09.1996 (20 years, 7months, 17 days – total days: 7,534)
Mahmoud was born on 08.11.1975 in ‘Arraba, and finished his school education. He was first detained by Israeli occupation forces on 25.08.1992, and was sentenced to 50 months in jail for participating in the activities of the First Intifada. Mahmoud was freed after 42 months, following the signing of the Oslo Accords. On 21.09.1996, Mahmoud was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces, and was subjected to various forms of torture during interrogation that lasted months. He was accused of membership in Saraya Al-Quds, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement, and participating in resistance operations that led to the killing of Israeli occupation soldiers. An Israeli occupation court sentenced Mahmoud to 1 life imprisonment and 15 years, and was immediately transferred to an isolation cell. During his long captivity, Mahmoud was often subjected to harassments and punishment from the IPA, and was often isolated for long periods of time, denied family visits, and denied receiving books and clothes, under the pretext of “security reasons”. On 11.06.2014, Mahmoud and another 14 other prisoners from the Islamic Jihad were accused of attempting to escape the jail, following the discovery of a tunnel in Shatta prison. They were held in solitary confinement for a whole year. Mahmoud is member of the Leadership Committee of the Islamic Jihad Prisoners in Israeli Jails, and he wrote a book while in captivity.

Iyad Abu Hashem © google images

Iyad Abu Hashem © google images

41. Iyad Mahmoud Salim Abu Hashem, 41 years old, from Rafah, Gaza. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 13.02.1997 (20 years, 2 months, 25 days – total days: 7,389)
Iyad was born in Qatar, but is holder of a Palestinian Identity Card. He returned to Gaza to pursue his university education at Al-Azhar, where he enrolled at the Commerce College. During this time, Iyad witnessed the Israeli violations against the Palestinians, and the various arbitrary practices of the occupation against his people, and the insults they face during travelling across Rafah border crossing. On 13.02.1997, Iyad carried out a resistance operation and stabbed an Israeli occupation soldier at the Rafah border crossing. He was detained and taken to interrogation. An Israeli military court accused him of attempted murder of an Israeli soldier, and sentenced him to 16 years in jail. In that same year, and following a cell search in in Nafha prison by Israeli guards who harassed and insulted the prisoners, Iyad beat one of the guards. Consequently, the Israeli military court added 6 years to his sentence to become 22 years. Moreover, he was isolated as punishment. Iyad’s family resides in Qatar, and cannot visit him because they don’t carry Palestinian IDs. Only his mother was able to visit him once in 2000, but was not allowed again. His aunt was allowed to visit him a number of times, before being denied visits as well under the pretext that she is a mother of a martyr.

Tayseer Smudi © google images

Tayseer Smudi © google images

42. Tayseer Najeeb Sai Samoudi, 55 years old, from Al-Yamoun, Jenin. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 24.02.1997 (20 years, 2 months, 14 days – total days: 7,378)
Tayseer was born on 30.11.1955 in Jenin, and is father to 2 boys and 2 girls. He was kidnapped by Israeli occupation forces on 24.2.1997 on accusation of participation in resistance operations that led to the injury of Zionists, and sentenced to 23 years in jails. Tayseer was often punished with isolation, and transferred between several isolation cells. Despite all protests and appeals, the IPA refused to transfer Tayseer to a regular cell, and insisted on keeping him isolated. Tayseer describes isolated prisoners as “those living in dark graves”, and demands that the cause of isolated prisoners should be given great importance by everyone in order to try and end their suffering before it is too late. He asks the Palestinians and their supporters for stronger mobilization to stop the suffering of isolated prisoners, and to stop the policy of solitary confinement, which is used by the Israeli jailors as a means to break the will and spirit of Palestinian political prisoners. Nonetheless, he adds, the will and spirit of Palestinian prisoners will never break, despite all dirty and inhumane methods used by the IPA. Isolated prisoners are held captive in a small cell, between 4 walls, and face a slow death in the “graves of the living”. Moreover, the isolation cells are cold and wet in winter and hot in summer, they are humid due to the lack of ventilation, and the toiled is located inside the small cell, and consequently the cells smell bad, and are infested with insects. The door of the isolation cell is made of iron, and in case of emergency, and isolated prisoner keeps shouting for the jailors, but with no success. Also, isolated prisoners are subjected to continuous harassments by the jailors, and to various punishments, such as denial of family visits and medical negligence. Tayserr, like many Palestinian political prisoners started suffering from various health problems while in detention, such as heart problems, backache, difficulty breathing due to the gathering of water on the lungs, sight loss in one eye, paralysis in right leg due to a stroke in 2008. He takes more than 15 kinds of medicine per day, and is in need of a specialized doctor to examine him, which the IPA does not provide.

Raed Abu Hamdiyyeh © google images

Raed Abu Hamdiyyeh © google images

43. Ra’ed Saleh Fakhri Abu Hamdieh, 39 years old, from Jerusalem. Held captive in Zionist dungeons since 03.04.1997 (20 years, 1 months, 5 days – total days: 7,340)
Ra’ed was born on 07.04.1976 in occupied Jerusalem and grew up in the alleys of the Old City. He was stopped by a flying Israeli military checkpoint on 03.04.1997 in Jerusalem, and kidnapped by Israeli occupation soldiers to a detention centre. There, Ra’ed was held in interrogation cells, and was subjected to all forms of torture, including physical and psychological torture, in order to force him to confess to the accusations and provide information about resistance operations. But Ra’ed was steadfast and did not confess. Ra’ed was accused of membership in Hamas, particularly in the “Sourif Military Cell”, which kidnapped a number of Israeli occupation soldiers, and he was accused of driving a martyr to “Beit Shemesh” to carry out a martyrdom operation, where 4 Zionists were killed. An Israeli occupation court sentenced him to 4 life imprisonments. Ra’ed was often punished by the IPA through continuous transfer between the various Israeli jails.

Freedom for ALL Palestinian political prisoners held captive in Israeli dungeons

Sources:
http://www.palestinebehindbars.org
http://www.waed.ps
http://www.alasra.ps
http://www.asrapal.net
http://www.almuhja.com
http://www.freedom.ps
http://www.asramedia.ps
http://assra48.com

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