‘Victory is Near’ – Freed Palestinian Civilians in Their Own Words

Israa' Ja'abis, with her son, upon her return to her home in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Al-Jarmaq)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

These are some of the comments made by Palestinian civilians who were freed following the truce agreement between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli government.

The Palestinian prisoners who were freed following the humanitarian truce agreement between the Palestinian Resistance and the Israeli government told of the horrific reality faced daily by Palestinian prisoners and detainees. 

These are some of their comments. 

Israa’ Ja’abis: ‘Ashamed to Be Happy’ 

Freed Palestinian prisoner Israa Jaabis said in an interview with Al Jazeera following her release on Saturday that she and other female prisoners were subjected to abuse and beatings in the Israeli prisons.

“Young Palestinian girls were subjected to unspeakable practices in the occupation prisons,” Israa said, calling for action to liberate all Palestinian prisoners.

Israa was released on Saturday night, along with other 39 Palestinian women and children, as part of the second batch of the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance.

When asked about her feelings after her release, Israa said that they are “ashamed to be happy when all of Palestine is wounded.”

Amani Al-Hashem: ‘Like a Dream’ 

Amani Al-Hashem, 36, from Beit Hanina, was released on Friday as part of the exchange deal with the Palestinian Resistance.

She said that the Israeli prison administration crossed red lines in its treatment of female prisoners, including assaulting them, spraying them with gas, and confiscating their personal belongings.

Al-Hashem, a mother of two children, has been detained since December 13, 2016, after she was shot while driving her car at the Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of Jerusalem. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Amani says that her feeling of release is indescribable, and she cannot find words to express the moments of freedom. “I feel as if I am in a dream. I am in the arms of my family and in my home with my children.”

The freed prisoner spoke of “double pain and agony throughout the period of detention.” 

“I was thinking about my children, their lessons, and what they do. I used to see them from behind the glass during visits, growing up and I could not touch them. This is great pain.”

“I have not touched my children for many years. I have not smelled their scent. They grew up quickly, while the occupation robbed us of sweet family moments and feelings during the years of captivity,” she said.

Hamada Abu Samra: ‘Victory is Near’ 

Hamada Abu Samra, 18, from Jenin was freed after two years in Israeli prisons. 

He had a message to the Palestinian Resistance: 

“We are with you with our heart and soul. God willing, until victory and the removal of this occupation.”

“The prisoners have suffered a lot since October 7th. God willing, our meeting with the rest of the prisoners is near,” he said.  

“May Allah strengthen the Resistance, and we are all with them until victory. Our condolences to our (brethren) in Gaza for their martyrs, those they lost for the prisoners in the occupation’s prisons. God willing, victory is near.”

Yasser Za’imieh: ‘Prisoners are Dying’ 

Yasser Za’imieh, 17, who was freed on Saturday from the Megiddo prison, said:

“The year I was in prison was difficult. They dealt with us with heavy violence and repression. On October 30, they beat many prisoners. Prisoners died at their hands.”

He added, 

“There were others, young children, whose heads were split open by the beatings. Young children, 10 and 12 years old, were being beaten. They dealt with us with the most intense violence. 

“One plate of rice was given to eight prisoners. It was abnormal violence. Just dry rice. They don’t bring us meat, or fruit, or vitamins, or anything. We just had a mattress sheet and very thin sheets. We wake up cold at night, unable to sleep. We slept for just two or three hours.”

“Since the war started, we have faced extremely difficult conditions. All the prisoners are suffering.” 

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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