Manal Ghanem, a 32 year-old woman, was eventually released on Sunday after having served almost 4 years in an Israeli jail.
In the West Bank city of Tulkarem, where Mrs. Ghanem lives with her 3 year-old baby born in the jail, her 11 year-old daughter Niveen, her 9 year-old son Majid along with other family members, locals and officials were welcoming Manal at the Israeli checkpoint of Jbarah.
Manal was abducted from her home by Israeli troops in April 2003 while she was pregnant. She gave birth to her son Nour inside the Israeli jail, where she raised him until May 2006, when the Israeli authorities took him back to Manal’s family.
Manal said that she named her new baby Nour, which means ‘light’ in Arabic, for she always believed that one day she would see the light after being in captivity. Approximately 10,000 Palestinian prisoners including 320 women and dozens of children are still being held in various Israeli jails and detention camps.
The prisoner issue is considered one of the most contentious issues in Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations, as Israel continues to conduct arrests amongst the Palestinian civilian population on an almost daily basis.