Report & photos by 16thOctoberGroup/Palestine, 18 October 2021
After initially allowing Palestinian ex-detainee, Nasreen Abu Kamil, to enter the Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation authorities abruptly decided that she would not be permitted to pass through the Erez checkpoint in the northern Gaza Strip and instead decided to return her to the West Bank and prevent her from seeing her children.
It’s also noteworthy that she spent last night waiting at the checkpoint with her family, who spent the whole night waiting on the other side of the Israeli Erez checkpoint.
A further report from Teller Report, 18 October 2021
The Palestinian prisoner, Nasreen Abu Kamil, was denied visiting her family for 6 years in the Israeli prison. After her release on Sunday, Israel refused to allow her to enter Gaza to embrace her family.
Occupied Jerusalem – with incomplete joy, the Palestinian prisoner, Nisreen Abu Kamil, 46, embraced freedom after 6 years in Israeli captivity.
The Israeli occupation authorities prevented her from returning to the Gaza Strip, where her family resides.
After 9 hours of waiting, the occupation released Nasreen Abu Kamil from Damoun Prison.
She was born in Haifa, and has been married in the Gaza Strip for 20 years.
Despite her forced distance from her husband and seven children in Gaza, the liberated Abu Kamil was not alone, as she lived the ecstasy of freedom in front of “Damoon” prison with many activists of the “Haifa Movement” and the “Tala’at Association”, who greeted her with chants and patriotic songs, chanting “Ya Nasreen.” We are with you… Freedom is yours.
Abu Kamil left behind her 32 Palestinian female prisoners who are being held in miserable conditions in Damoun Prison, the oldest among Israeli prisons.
Activists from the city of Haifa receive the captive Nisreen Abu Kamil (Al-Jazeera)
Disturbance and deprivation
Until her release, the Israeli Ministry of Interior refused to issue a permit allowing her to enter Gaza, and to reunite her with her family members, whom she was denied visits during the years of captivity.
Abu Kamil will be a guest in her city, Haifa, until she meets her husband and children in the Gaza Strip.
Abu Kamil spoke to Al Jazeera Net about her experience in captivity and her feelings when she broke the jailer’s collar and embraced freedom.null
She said that her joy was mixed with tears, and feelings of sadness overwhelmed her by depriving her of returning to her husband and children, whose voices and messages she used to hear through the Palestinian radio stations broadcasted by Damoun Prison.
Abu Kamil announced her rejection of the occupation measures, and said that she would sit in front of the Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, which leads to the Gaza Strip, and would stay there until she was allowed to return to her families.
According to the captive, the occupation authorities rejected her request to return to the Gaza Strip on the pretext that she holds Israeli citizenship, a nationality that was imposed on the Palestinians of the occupied territories in 1948.
Abu Kamil said, “I have been married in Gaza for 20 years, and I have the right to go back to my home and be reunited with my husband and children… I waited for the days and counted the hours until I returned to them.”
Abu Kamil carried a message from the Palestinian female prisoners, urging, through it, the Palestinian people to support the prisoners who face the mechanisms of oppression and Israeli persecution on a daily basis.
According to the released female prisoner, 3 female prisoners, Mona Qadan, Shatila Abu Ayada and Amal Abu Kattah, started an open hunger strike, in protest against the repression and abuse of prisoners in general, and against the policy of deliberate medical negligence.
She appealed to the female prisoners not to be excluded from any future exchange deal, and demanded an escalation of the popular struggle to support them.
And if she did not reach them physically, Nasreen Abu Kamil was able for the first time since her arrest, to communicate with her husband and children through video communication applications.
She waved her hand at them while her tears preceded her words, which were replaced by ululations and the sound of joy coming from Gaza.
In a voice choked with tears, the editor, Abu Kamil, was calling for her eldest son, Firas, and the last of the cluster, Ahmed, who was 8 months old when she was arrested.
As for her daughter, Amira, she was 11 years old when her mother was arrested, and she was entrusted with the task of caring for her brothers and her father in the absence of the mother forcibly in Israeli prisons.
In Gaza, the joy of Nisreen’s husband, Hazem Abu Kamil (50), and her children Firas, Faris, Amira, Malak, Dalia, Nadine and Ahmed, was overwhelmed by the passing of the years of oppression and darkness in the prisons of the occupation.
Nisreen Abu Kamil decides to sit in front of the Beit Hanoun crossing in order to allow her to return to her husband and children (Al-Jazeera)
Accused of “espionage”
The occupation authorities arrested Nasreen on October 18, 2015, after being summoned from the occupation at the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, which is under Israeli control, in the northern Gaza Strip.null
She was sentenced to six years in prison for espionage, which her family in Gaza described as false.
Her husband Hazem told Al Jazeera Net that they met during his work in the Green Line areas before the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, and he married her and moved to live with him in Gaza.
Nisreen visited her relatives in Haifa until her arrest, when the occupation intelligence accused her of filming Haifa port for the purpose of “espionage” in her last visit in 2014.
Husband Abu Kamil said that he and his sons were denied visits during the “heavy and bleak” years of her detention.
He was silent for a moment, then added, “Today, with Nisreen’s release from prison, life has taste and meaning.”
The family of the captive Nisreen Abu Kamil lived through great suffering by preventing her children from visiting her for 6 years (Al-Jazeera)
Absence and cruelty
Abu Kamil says that the absence of Nisreen from her home and her children had a severe impact on occasions and holidays, and had a severe impact on her daughters, who took responsibility for the family early.
With longing and nostalgia for the day of freedom, Abu Kamil and his sons set a “calendar” for Nisreen’s last 100 days in prison, and every morning they wrote off what had passed.
“They were slow days, but they passed with all their bitterness, and now we are waiting for Nasreen to reunite us,” he said.
Abu Kamil said that his sons only know their mother through old photos, and they heard her voice a few times when he came to them faintly on the phone from prison, “and we were worried because of the harsh conditions inside the prison.”
The occupation authorities are detaining more than 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in their prisons, including 32 women and 225 children, and these numbers are constantly changing, according to the estimates of institutions specialized in prisoners’ issues.
Sources: Teller Report/Aljazeera/social media