Palestinian detainee Samer Shirab, was released from an Israeli detention facility this week. He spent seven years in detention and in the past he was imprisoned for more than five and a half years following his abduction by the soldiers in 1996.


The family was relieved after his release but still this joy is mixed with sadness as his two brothers were kidnapped by the Israeli forces two weeks ago.

Samer was first kidnapped by the army during the first Intifada. He was abducted from his home during a night raid and spent five years in Magiddo Israeli prison.

He was also kidnapped again and was detained for six months. During this period he continued his studies and received his secondary certificate while in prison, yet he was unable to attend a university.

Samer still recalls the days and months he spent in detention and recalls an incident which took place on August 22, 2003, when there was a fire in the Negev detention camp.

Last year, on July 21, Samer was transferred to an Israeli hospital after he encountered an infection in his mouth. He is still suffering from the infection which did not heal due to the lack of medical attention and treatment in Israeli detention camps.

Now, after his release, he found out that lots of changes have happened, and most of his friends are either in prison or killed by the army.

Nearly 10,000 Palestinians, including 44 legislators, 88 female detainees and 350 children including one hundred who were kidnapped while they were under 15 years old, are currently imprisoned by Israel.

It is worth mentioning that there are more than 100 detainees who are sick, 50% of them need surgeries, 32 of them are permanently staying at the Al Ramla prison hospital which lacks the basic equipment and medications. 195 Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons due to torture and medical negligence since 1967.

There are 400 detainees who were kidnapped by Israel before 1993, among them 67 spent more than 20 years in prison. Approximately 1,000 detainees are currently imprisoned by Israel.

The only Israeli prisoner the Palestinians have is the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, who was captured by resistance fighters in Gaza in June 25, 2006. Number of Israeli fatalities in Palestinian prisons is zero.