The last time Diba Rihan saw her son Numan was three years ago. His head was hung low in distress and his eyes were full of pain, she said. One of his cheeks was swollen where he had been hit, he told her, by a prison guard.
“As a result of the hunger strike and solitary confinement, his health had deteriorated,” Diba, 77, told The Electronic Intifada from her home in Gaza City.
Numan, 50, has now been imprisoned at Israel’s Nafha prison for nine years. He has 11 years remaining on his sentence.
The prison, located 40 miles south of Beersheba in the desert, is “considered one of the most harsh and severe of the occupation prisons,” according to Addameer. It is a facility designed to “subject [the prisoners] to gradual death and to isolate them.”
As of April 2022, Israel imprisons 4,450 Palestinians, including 160 children, 32 women, and 530 administrative detainees, according to Addameer.
Numan is among the 152 prisoners serving sentences of more than 20 years – though it feels infinitely longer to his family in Gaza….