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Reference : V-P-IL-E-02557
Date : 16/05/2012
Caption : West Bank, Jenin. Sanaa is one of the beneficiaries of the ICRC family visits programme for Palestinian detainees' families. Since 1988, the longest period her husband spend at home is 9 months.
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.

Since 1988, the longest period Sanaa's husband has spent at home has been nine months. He has spent the rest of the time in custody. Sanaa impatiently waits to hear whether her husband will be freed or whether his administrative detention will be renewed. “I live in constant fear and hope. I have to be mentally prepared for him not coming home.” The uncertainty casts a shadow of fear and stress over the whole family.

Sanaa copes by talking to others who are in the same situation. “According to an Arabic saying, if you see other people’s disasters you feel your problem’s small in comparison.”

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