For the first time, a Palestinian radio only specialized for the detainees affairs, was officially launched in the Gaza Strip challenging Israel’s restrictions on visitations and communication between the families in Gaza and their detained family members. The Radio started its test run on Wednesday with the aim of being the link, at least by voice, between the detainees and their families.
In mid 2007, Israel issued an order forbidding all visitations to Gaza Strip detainees.
The mother of detainee Ibrahim Daoud, 45, said that her son was kidnapped by the army 24 years ago; and was sentenced to 27 years.
“This station will be our link with my son”, she said, “Israel is not allowing us any visitations”.
In her message to her son in Al Majdal prison, she informed him that his twin brother is now a grandfather.
Another woman said that she is glad that her sons, both imprisoned at the Negev detention camp, will be able to hear her voice.
“We don’t have any news about our detained sons, we used to get our news from released detainees”, she said, “Now there is a Radio linking us with them”.
The Radio waves can reach most of the Palestinian territories and Israel.
Most of the detainees who phone the station do not reveal their real names as they use mobile phones smuggled into the detention facilities.
Al Quds Radio station manager, Saleh Al Masry, said that in cooperation with the Hamas government in Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, the radio can be heard in every Israeli prison.
The Al Quds Radio is run by members of the Islamic Jihad, and is behind the creation of the new station.
All of the Radio personnel were previously imprisoned by Israel; they spend most of their time preparing the programs and making sure everything goes well without any complications.
Rafat Hamdouna, who was imprisoned by Israel for 15 years, said that he works with the radio station to serve the detainees, and to challenge the walls of Israeli prisons.
This is the first radio station dedicated to the detainees and their affairs. It needs 20.000 USD in monthly costs; it currently depends on Arab and Palestinian donations.
One of many obstacles the radio might very well face is Israeli attempts to scramble their broadcast.