Featured by: Maisa Abu Ghazala, PNN

“The brutality and cruelty of the soldiers ignored the disability of my son, and my weakness. Those who call themselves judges, “protectors of justice,” know no mercy or justice”

The mother of detainee Nasser Abed Rabbu sat in her home, with tears filling her eyes and face, and a broken heart… and said:

“They arrested him when he was only 18 years old. He participated in the events of the first Intifada which started in 1987…he hurled stones at the soldiers, raised the Palestinian flag and chanted for freedom, until they arrested him in August 1988 and sentenced him to three consecutive years,” the mother said.

Cruel arrest

“When they arrested him, they had no mercy. Dragging and hitting him, they interrogated and tortured him before he was sent to court,” she added.

Two months before he finished his term, a collaborator with the Israeli security was killed in detention, and they claimed that Nasser was the one who killed him.

“I felt my heart burning, breaking into million pieces; he was supposed to be released, but they charged that he killed the collaborator and sentenced him to a life term, then ‘reduced it to 32 consecutive years,” the mother stated.

“He is responsible for the death of the collaborator, they told us,” the mother said. “Nasser became once again the victim of their false accusations,” she added. 

Waiting is so hard

“The first three years passed very slowly. We were waiting the day of his release, counting the days, minutes…and seconds, but now…they sentenced him for life, it is very hard even to imagine it…”   

No despair, in the cold dark cells

Holding his pictures in her hands, and looking at his pictures hanging on the walls of their home, the mother said “The cruelty of the term he received did not stop his ambitions. He continued his education behind bars, graduated from school, and started a distance learning program at the Hebrew University.”.

“He studied political science, and economy, but he encountered problems in his sight, couldn’t not read well or see clearly, which forced him to stop,” she added.

The shortsighted judges and the heartless Israeli justice system ignore the needs of sick detainees, neglect their rights, and torture them in detentions.

Appeal and hope

“What they are doing to him, the bad treatment he and the other detainees are facing, is considered a war crime,” the mother said. “Nasser is only one of thousands of detainees arrested by the occupation and facing daily injustice and cruelty,” she added. 

“As a mother, I have something to say to all Israeli mothers: ‘You should raise the flags of peace in front of the offices of your government, and demand that they release the detainees and leave the occupied territories.’”

“A mother’s heart is wider and bigger than the whole world. One day my son will be freed, and my heart will be wide enough to hold him there”


Currently, there are at least 6,000 detainees in Israeli prisons and detentions camps, facing all sorts of humiliation and violations.

The detainees have conducted repeated hunger strikes demanding the Israeli prison authorities to improve their living conditions and stop the violations against them.

The detainees are repeatedly attacked in their rooms, cells, and tents and deprived of the basic rights every detainee should enjoy.

They are placed in overcrowded rooms. Dozens have been confined to solitary and remained there for long periods, and some are still in solitary, without any horizon for change in their situation in the near future.

According to statistics compiled by the Prisoners Supporters Organization, there are 5,906 detainees currently imprisoned in Israeli detention camps and prisons, 770 of them were arrested before al-Aqsa Intifada started late September 2000.

121 detainees are Arab residents of Israel, while the rest are from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem