“We want a solution, my brother was kidnapped by the army twenty years ago, and each time there is a prisoner swap deal, Israel excluded him. Through the years, Israel never even considered releasing him”.With these words, the sister of detainee Hazza’ Al Sa’ady, started talking about her brother, who is listed by Israel as one of the detainees “who have bloods on their hands”. Due to that categorization, Israel refuses to ever consider his release.
Since the Israeli corporal, Gilad Shalit, was captured by resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip last year, the family of Hazza’ al Sa’ady has watched the news with trepidation each night, hoping against hope that a prisoner swap deal will be carried out, and that Hazza’ will be released.
His sister told me about how the family fears for Hazza’ and his safety in the prison. They added that the family always hears about different prisoner swap deals, but have never dared to hope that Hazza’ would be among those released.
He was kidnapped by the army when he was only 17, and now, after twenty-one years in detention, he is still there and the prison walls are taking their toll on him. Now he is 39, he is still there, imprisoned without any hope to be freed.
He is the only son among several sisters. His parents have aged considerably in the twenty-one years he has been gone. They live in their old age with one hope in their hearts: to be able to hug their son and see him freed.
The family is living in Jenin refugee camp, and the father is suffering from a heart disease.
In 1985, some of the collaborators with the Israeli army placed a poisoning material in drinking water tanks that belongs to a high school for girls in Jenin, and several school students were poisoned and hospitalized.
Hazza’was one of hundreds of residents who rushed to the school in an attempt to save the students and transfer them to medical facilities before their conditions worsened. This incident had a big impact on the teenager, and made him decide to act against the Israeli occupation.
Later on, he and two of his friends were arrested by the Israeli army and were sent to prison.
The Israeli army claimed that Hazza’ killed two Israeli settlers. Hazza’ was confined to solitary confinement for a long period and was subjected to torture before he was sent to court where he was sentenced to a life-term plus an additional twenty years imprisonment.
His friends Othman Bani Hasan and Thamer Bani Hasan were sentenced to two-life terms and seven years.
The family is still suffering and hoping that this time their son will be freed. They voiced appeals to the captors of the Israeli soldier to insist that he, and all detainees who spent so many years in prison, and those who have high sentences, should be freed without any preconditions.
His mother and father always say “we are old now, and soon we will die, our only hope and wish is to see our son freed, entering our home and hugging us”.