Samer Issawi

A letter to anyone with a clear conscience and human values

 

A long time ago, they occupied our land, killed our grand-parents and parents, our women and children. They robbed us, while all the world was silently watching their massacres. They demolished our cities and villages and they distorted our landmarks. They destroyed our houses and made some of us homeless. They uprooted our native trees and they seized our land to build their settlements. Now we have no more land on which to build our houses and even if we build they demolish them. All our lands were issued for them. The settlement process is like an octopus that creeps on all of our lands. They vanquished and tortured us but they will never beat our determination because we are the right owners and because we are defending a just cause.

 

We will stay on our land if they want us to or not. We just want to live in peace and be safe just like the other peoples of the world. We want to preserve our dignity. We hate murder and bloodshed. We are a people who love life. It is they who kill us without a reason. It is they who arrest us on trumped-up charges.

 

Oh world, we want peace in a country of peace…

 

I will tell you my story. Me, my husband, my six sons and my two daughters were living and sharing love. Raising and educating our children was all we aimed for. However, the occupation forces deprived us of the least of our rights. They arrested my son Ra’fat when he was only fourteen years old, a child who understood nothing about politics. They, also, arrested my son Medhat when he was only thirteen years old. They judged and jailed them for one year but a few months after they got out of prison, they jailed them again for one year and 6 months. A short time after their getting out; they imprisoned Medhat one more time but he escaped and become wanted…and so I was always scared and worried about him until he was arrested again with his brother Firas. Medhat was sentenced to 8 years and Firas to 5 years. After releasing them, they arrested Medhat for the fourth time and sentenced him to 5 years. Then he got out and he got arrested for the fifth time and sentenced to 4 years and in sixth time he was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months then released and now he is jailed again. This means he had spent more than 20 years of his life in jail…isn’t that unfair? Isn’t it unjust that he should loose his life moving from one prison to another and for no real reason. Besides they arrested my son Samer 3 times and he spent 14 years in jail.

 

They arrested my son Fady when he was only 14 years old and six months. Four months after getting out of jail he was martyred. Just one day after the Al-Haram massacre, there was a peaceful demonstration in al QUDSS protesting against killing people while they were praying. The army faced this demonstration with bullets. My son Fady was just 17 years old when he was martyred and we were preparing some sweets to celebrate his birthday, in the evening, in 16 Ramadan.

 

Medhat and Firass were in jail and the Occupation Forces refused to release them to bid their brother farewell. Then they arrested Shady who spent 8 years in jail and he is now imprisoned at home after paying a 30.000 shekels bail and he also has to pay half a million shekel for building-violation. He doesn’t work as he is studying at university.

 

Shireen studied human rights and she became a lawyer and devoted her life to prisoners. She defends them and visits them in the prison. The occupation forces didn’t like that and so they imprisoned her too for one year with 6 months home arrest. They also deprived her of work for 3 years and after that they extended the ban for two more years. Now they have arrested her one more time with her brothers Medhat and Shady. Shady was released after spending one month without even sentencing him. And then they asked him to pay a fine with an amount of 50.000 shekels or he would go back to jail.

 

To a civilized world, to persons with clear conscience, to human rights institution and to lawyers syndicate, I am a Palestinian mother whose family was scattered by the occupation…I didn’t get to enjoy living with my children in their childhood nor in their youth. For 25 years we have not met as a complete family. I spend my life in front of prisons now I have collapsed physically and psychologically. I am suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and depression.

 

I ask you to raise this issue of the Israeli occupation’s brutality against me and my children with the United Nations. Please help me…the total years spent by my children in jail until now is 58 years. For what reason is all of that?