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Reference : V-P-IL-E-02544
Date : 14/05/2012
Caption : West Bank, Jenin. Nazmieh is a mother of 6 children. Her husband Wafi has spend several years in administrative detention. On her side, her eldest son, Oussama, 21 years old. They hold a picture of Walid.
Photographer : MAGDA AND ANDREA
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC/Andrea and Magda
Description : ICRC website, Feature, 25-05-2012

Israel/the occupied territories: families of Palestinian detainees between hope and fear

Thousands of Palestinian families living in the West Bank have relatives in Israeli places of detention. It is difficult to maintain direct contact between detainees and their families, leading to suffering and to problems within the families. The Israeli authorities suspended family visits during the recent hunger strike by Palestinian detainees between March and May 2012, causing a great deal of anxiety and concern for detainees and families alike.

For the past 45 years, the ICRC has enabled Palestinians to visit family members in Israeli places of detention. The organization applies for permits and provides transport to and from the prisons. ICRC delegates also convey oral greetings and written Red Cross messages to help families stay in touch.

“My husband Wafi has spent several years in administrative detention but we have never been told why. I wish they would take him to court so we would know,” says Nazmieh.
Since her husband was detained, Nazmieh has been both mother and father to their six children. Her only son Oussama (21) has recently taken on more responsibilities around the house.

Visit to Wafi
Nazmieh and her two daughters are the only family members who have received permits to visit Wafi in prison. This morning at 7 a.m., they board the bus with another 150 Palestinians on their way to visit relatives in Israeli places of detention.

After extensive security checks and several hours on the road, they can finally see Wafi behind a glass barrier and talk to him by telephone. The visit lasts 45 minutes. “Each time my daughters see their father in prison, they cry. Every visit is very difficult psychologically,” says Nazmieh.

Jalameh checkpoint
Younis Daragmeh from the ICRC helps Nazmieh, Bisan (16) and Ansam (10) at the Jalameh checkpoint between the West Bank and Israel. Every month, the ICRC helps 9,500 people to visit their relatives in Israeli places of detention.
Many family members are prohibited from visiting on security grounds. Males between the ages of 16 and 35 are only allowed to visit once every six months or once a year.

Back from the visit
Nazmieh is back from visiting her husband. Smiling, she tells that he was doing well and very happy to see her and his daughters.
During the short visits, Nazmieh brings her husband news from her other children, who are not allowed to visit him. She has three daughters of marrying age and doesn't know what to do about this. "I need my husband to be with us and to decide."

Original material : digital
Resolution : 5616x3744
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour