Bethlehem -

Half of his life has been spent by the freed Palestinian prisoner Khaled Asakreh, 45, from Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, in Israeli prisons, before being released in a political deal between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014.

Asakreh describes his years of detention as a mixture of mixed feelings, between despair at times, defiance and steadfastness at other times, and between interaction with the events taking place outside, and between the details of life inside the prison.

But, in the end, it was the constant feeling of prisoners who had been sentenced to many years in prison that they had a just cause.

In the middle of the photo is the freed captive Khaled Asakreh on a national occasion in Bethlehem (Activists)

interests melt

The story does not end at the moment of arrest, as some believe. Rather, it extends for years of continuous investigation into activities outside the prison, after which the verdict comes for many years, and it may go to investigations about activities inside the prison after that, as well as the solitary confinement in which the prisoner is punished for years alone, so how Can you imagine the psychological state of this person?

Ask Askara.

The interests dissolve in the detention centers, as the relationship is a strong and solid brotherhood, in which there is only consensus that the arrest was for the sake of the homeland, the cause and sacrifice. It remains a symbol of respect and appreciation from his people and his nation.

But events outside the prison have a greater impact on the prisoner, whether on a public or personal level;

Losing a father, mother, or a loved one is very difficult while you are around them, so how is the situation if you are deprived of a final farewell moment that will not come after that and will not be compensated, but the solidarity of the prisoners strengthens their resolve in the end, according to Asakreh.

From the right, Adnan Al-Afandi, when he graduated with a master’s degree after his liberation from prison, accompanied by long-term prisoners (activists)


The prisoner Adnan Al-Afandi, from the Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, spent 22 years inside the Israeli occupation prisons before he was released in the same political deal in 2014.

Al-Affendi married after his release at the age of 42, and today he has two sons and a daughter, who feels that they are closer to his grandchildren, but he does not regret everything that happened to him. He held a bachelor's degree from the Hebrew Open University, where education was available to prisoners, and when he was liberated, he completed his master's studies. Today, he is a part-time lecturer at a Palestinian university, and plans to hold a doctorate.

Al-Affandi tells Al-Jazeera Net, that the occupation wants the Palestinian prisoner as an example to others, by robbing him of his freedom and trying to break his resolve and by psychological and physical pressure on him until he surrenders to him, but this was not the case, but on the contrary, the prisoners sentenced for long years have programs and activities inside the prisons, not a favor from the occupation but rather By their steadfastness and defiance of him, and his acquiescence to their demands against his will and for fear of their escalation.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners completed secondary education and held university degrees inside prisons, and most of those who were liberated after many years completed their studies and started their lives as if they had been resurrected.

Al-Affandi says that the prisoner feels hurt and despair in many stations, but in the end there is no choice but to challenge, steadfastly, support and fraternize inside the prisons, in which the prisoners strengthen their resolve and even raise the morale of their people, to defend themselves against the occupier, whom the battle originally began, to get him out. The goal remains the same.

Deal or political solution

Our story did not end here. These Palestinians were liberated from the prisons of the occupation. However, the Palestinian institutions concerned with the affairs of prisoners say in their latest statistics that 99 Palestinians have spent today more than 20 years in the prisons of the occupation, and the Palestinians know them as “prisoners’ deans.” The reporter on behalf of the Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs, Hassan Abd Rabbo, said that they are among the category of "prisoners generals" who have exceeded 30 years in detention.

Abd Rabbo tells Al Jazeera Net that hundreds of prisoners are sentenced to high sentences, especially after the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, and almost every month a prisoner or more enters his 20th year in prison, and there is no hope for these except with patience and steadfastness, or waiting for one of two options, either a political move that ends their arrest As happened in 2014, or through a prisoner exchange deal with the Palestinian resistance.

The two options for the follower of the history of the Palestinian cause, according to Abed Rabbo, take very long years, increasing the suffering of those inside the prisons, but they have no choice but to challenge the jailer who wants them to depend on their society, through family pressure on them and the constant inspections and intrusions into prisons, abuse of families and preventing them from entering prisons. Visiting, and depriving them of contact and communication with them, especially in cases of death or loss, or even happy occasions.

But, according to Abd Rabbo, they proved that in many important moments in Palestinian history, they were the spearhead of defending their national project and their cause for which they were arrested and spent their life in detention.