Five years have passed since her son was arrested, the mother of detainee Ahmad Khalaf, was finally able to visit him, in spite of her sickness, and in spite of losing site in her right eye and week sight in the left, she managed to see him, even if he was like a shadow.

The mother suffered a stroke and lost her site in the right eye, doctors warned her that any exhaustion and tiredness will sharply deteriorate her condition, which barred her from visiting him since the families of the detainees have to travel for several hours in a bus and wait for additional hours until they are allowed to visit their detained family members for some minutes.

Mona, the sister of Ahmad, always visited him and was considered his link with the rest of the family.

“My father managed to visit Ahmad in spite of his bad health conditions; we wrote several appeals to the Israeli Prison Authorities through the Red Cross and provided them with medical reports which prove the bad health condition of my father”, Mona said.

“After three months, the Israeli prison authorities allowed my father to visit Ahmad… but only two days before the day of visitation, my father died with one word in his month… Ahmad”.

After the death of our father, I went along with my other sister to visit our brother…

“What shall I tell him, he will ask about our father”, and when we arrived at the prison, and saw our brother, he asked about my father, I had to tell him the truth… he fainted and fell on the ground”.

Ahmad’s mother said, after being able to visit him for 15 minutes, that he hugged her, and kissed her eyes and face, “I could not see him very well… but I could feel his love”, she said.

“I placed my head on his chest, and hugged him, my only dream now is to see him again…but not behind bars”

“My son was arrested more than 13 years ago, I have seven sons, five of them were imprisoned and released, except Ahmad”, she added.

Mohammad, one of her sons, spent six years in Israeli detention facilities, Mousa was detained for 18 months, Bilal was detained for six months, and Bassam was interrogated and tortured at Al Maskobiyya detention facility in Jerusalem, and lost his right eye after he was repeatedly punched and hit there.

The mother blames the Palestinian Authority for not considering the detainees’ files as a top priority in its talks with Israel, especially the detainees who are sentenced to high terms. 

“Ahmad was arrested 13 years ago, they sentenced him to 22 consecutive years, they claim that he killed a settler during the first Intifada”, the mother said.

Maisa Abu Ghazala, PNN