Saturday, July 7, 2012

One of the people we met in Ramallah in 2008 is Sam Bahour, a Palestinian and an American citizen, who returned to Palestine after the Oslo Accords, hopeful that peace was soon to come and that he could help in the development of communications for a new Palestinian state -- that was more than ten years ago. Today he sent this note from the daughter of a friend, Walid (Hanatsheh) Abu Rass, who has been detained by Israeli authorities, without being charged with a crime.

Here is Walid's daughter's appeal (you can read it on Sam's blog here: and read some background on Walid's case in his earlier blog posting:

Mays Hanatsheh, 15 years old

Letter from Mays:

The phone rang. It was unexpected. It was the lawyer. When we answered his voice was happy, flying in the sky, and he was so excited. We asked him what is going on and he said that today he received a verdict that is one of the best verdicts ever made for someone being held by Israel under Administrative Detention.

We were surprised and kind of mixed up so we asked what is going on one more time and he answered simply that my dad, Waleed, was going to be released in two weeks, on June 22! The next question was: what happened? He said the judge in the last court hearing said that dad didn’t have any new confidential evidence presented against him and the Israeli military judge decided that he should be released. This is why the lawyer was so happy and he was sure that dad was going to be released on June 22.

From that moment, me, my sister, and my mom started to prepare for the reception on June 22nd. We started thinking of what were going to wear and which food my dad prefers and the way we are going to meet him in front of the prison and many other small details.

But this happiness was short. Sunday was gone and we were happy because another day passed and only a few days were left. This was on Sunday, but Monday came and it wasn’t a good day because we got bad news. Israel extended my dad’s detention by three more months. This is the reason I have lost all hope toward these courts. The problem is that the judge, himself, said that there was no new confidential evidence and there was no reason to keep my dad in prison. So why did they extend his time? I need an answer!

Christmas is gone and he is not with us. Also, Easter is gone and he still not with us. Summer is going and he is not with us. All our birthdays are gone and he didn’t attend them. Ramadan is coming soon and he will not be with us.

So I need a person to tell me when my father is going to be with us in order for me to know how to plan for my future. I can’t plan anything because I don’t have a specific day of being with my father, so can you help me?

Mays Hanatsheh
July 6, 2012