Prisoners celebrate their release
Photo: Ali Waked

PA: Both parents held in Israel, 6 kids left alone

IDF holds Palestinian couple in administrative custody without informing them of charges against them or enabling them to stand trial. Meanwhile, their six children being raised by their grandparents, suffer mental distress

While thousands celebrated the release of 255 Palestinian prisoners in Ramallah Friday, no joy could be felt at the house of the al-Hashalmon family in the village of Akbat Tapuch near Hebron, where Raisa raises her six grandchildren whose parents have been held by the IDF for over a year.


In June last year, the IDF arrested Sami, Raisa's son and sent him for a six-month administrative custody, which has since been renewed three times. His wife, Nur was arrested in September, and their six children – the oldest one 14-years-old and the youngest three, have remained without their parents since then.

Raisa with her grandchildren (Photo: Moussa Abu Hashash, B'Tselem)


Raisa herself has not been informed of the cause for the arrest, and the couple have also not been told what the charges are against them. Palestinian sources said that they are suspected of being members of the Islamic Jihad.


After the arrest, the children moved into their grandmother's house, and she said that their mental condition had drastically deteriorated since. The three older children had to be sent to an orphans' school, because the grandparents cannot provide for them, and the younger ones "have become more violent and also tend to cry a lot," Raisa said.


The B'Tselem human rights organization said that if there is evidence against the couple, they should be put on trial and if not, the IDF must release them immediately.


"The release of 250 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority seems like a ridiculous move in light of the fact that hundreds others are held in Israel without trial or an indictment against them," the group stated.


פרסום ראשון: 07.20.07, 13:50
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