(This is the story of the freed Palestinian prisoner Morad Abu Rekab).
I shuddered tremblingly, the moment I heard the word. I have just been informed that I am being transferred to Jalbou Jail, which locates in Bisan City, northern occupied Palestine.
There, the prison is toughly guarded. Five sections are there, Fifteen rooms are each section, and each room contains eight prisoners. They are overcrowded that some fellow prisoners sleep on the ground. The prison was built by the help of Irish experts, and most of the jailers are Druze, and that is the point!
Neither the north, nor the guards or the structure of prison scare me. Demeaning policies haunt me, though. The prison is well-known for being a prison of humiliation and strip searches. Jailers got used to call upon our names, and, then, demand us to “move up-and-down entirely stripped for five times”.
Thirty jailers were standing in front of me lurking. Any daring look at the eyes of a jailer would expose me to a serious beating all over my body, and they would throw me into my cell. O, Lord! What humiliation!
I tried hard to suspend the decision, it did not work. The damned prison bus was waiting outside the Ramla Jail. I walked out, and I had both, my legs and hands, manacled. The bus moved through breathtaking lands. Trees erected at both sides of the road. “O, Lord! How beautiful my land is”. I looked through the windows of the prison bus. I arrived in Jalbou Prison!
Jailers are monsters, with human faces
My fellow prisoners informed me that Farasha, a Druze General, is the policy maker inside Jalbou Prison. He adopts degrading policies and strip searches dogmas. Jailers searched me naked, and I dared not to move. The place is highly fortified. Jailers are monsters, with human faces. They would beat me hard until I got killed in cold blood, if I moved.
I was told that Mahasen, a Major or a Colonel, -I cannot recognise his rank, actually, not as I recognise humiliation- was responsible for torture and strip searches. Hell to you, soldiers! Hell to you, jailers! I am a rebellious Palestinian, who is ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of Allah. I breathe dignity. If I am taken off my dignity, then I am sunk to death.
In the very early hours of the morning, I collected my fragmented dignity. I boiled oil and fats in an empty can of tuna. Oil boils. I boil from inside, as well. Oil boils, and I boil. I imagined my fellow prisoners naked. The voice of jailer knocked my ears. “Up… Down… Son of a … Mother fucker… Hamas… Fatah”. Barrages of insults showered my face. Oil still boils, as I do. I added sugar to oil to make it more burning.
Oil boils, and I am trying to compose what is left of my strength, which fell apart under the whips of jailers, the showers of insults and strip searches. Silence prevails. Only I hear the sound of oil, bubbling. I hear footsteps in the lobby, coming slowly. Rage fired my chest.
The sweetness of victory
I hear the footsteps of Mahasen! He opened the door of my cell. And I opened the doors of my hearts. I am the son of dignifies, sucker! I grasped the can of boiling oil with a piece of cloth, and threw it into his face. How dare you search me naked? How dare you humiliate me?
Consequences mattered me not. My dignity concerned me, instead. I heard nothing but Mahasen screaming. Twenty years of service in prison. Twenty years of humiliation. I abridged them by the can of oil. Scream, wacky. You have always demeaned us.
I, then, attacked him with a blade to tear him apart, but my fellow prisoners stopped me. Hours of imagination passed fast. O, Lord. Who am I? How did I end up here? Who is this? Who is that?
Alarm sounded loud. Ten minutes later, the Israeli special forces stormed the cells of the prison. They fired teargas. All of us went dizzy. They took me to a separated area. They hit me tough. I screamed. They beat. I did not feel the beatings, for the sweetness of victory took over me. I was put in solitary confinement, hand-shackled and leg-tied.
I lost conscious for three days. I waked up in my cell. I was wobbly. Ground beneath me was covered in blood. My body overweighed. Bruises bordered me. Jailers sentenced me to solitary confinement for three years, during which I met with great senior leaders of the prisoners like Yehia al-Sinwar, Rawhi Mushtaha, Ali al-Amoodi, Mohammed Dukkhan, etc. It was really nice to get to know them.
I waked up as usual but this time it was different. I was sentenced to serve more seven years of prison. In total, I was assumed to serve twenty seven years of prison. I was shortlisted for being a hazardous prisoner. They laid an eye on me for every second. They monitored my words, as well.
All thanks is due to Allah. Allah blesses those who seek His dignity
I got out of prison in the Loyalty of the Freed swap deal. The standers of names would have been for more than twenty years. My name was listed on the freed list because of Mahasen’s burnings. All thanks is due to Allah. Allah blesses those who seek His dignity.
My actions, which I am proud of, were the sparkles that encouraged the others to cross the red lines in Jalbou Prison. One of my fellow prisoners beat an Israeli jailer hard. Another one battered two officers severely. Four days after what I did, a group of prisoners blew two policemen inside the section.
Jailers plead to the prisoners to halt their actions, and they, the prisoners, could have their demands met. Strip searches stopped, and humiliating actions decreased. Thanks to Allah.
The picture of Mahasen, the shapeless jailer, was on the front pages of the Israeli newspapers. The news spread, and reached worldwide newspapers. We adopted a motto. “Prisoner refuses humiliation, and burns his jailer”.
Messages were delivered to the Druze in Syria and Lebanon that the Druze jailers must end their disgraceful actions against the Palestinian prisoners because they have nothing to do with conflict. Prisoners would like to avenge on jailers. The Israeli prison authorities demanded me to apologize, but I refused. “That was just nothing,” said I.
In the Loyalty of the Freed swap deal, I broke my chains, and got out of prison. I shattered the myth of Jalbou. I have just narrated few parts of my misery, longing and yearning inside prison. You are just to be freed, my fellow prisoners. You lions!
Keep your heads up high because we are the righteous people. They are the ignominious. Here I am. I am now freed after ten years of detention. I am now back to my home in Az-Zawayda village in the Gaza Strip. Freedom is your destiny. I love you all. (T/P02/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)
Source : http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=1732