What it takes for Palestinians to see their imprisoned relatives
Once a month, thousands of Palestinians take Red Cross buses to visit their family members detained in Israeli prisons.
Once a month, thousands of Palestinians make the long journey to various prisons in Israel to meet their detained family members.
“On those nights, I can hardly fall asleep. I constantly worry that I will forget something, the permit or my ID, and miss the visit,” says Mona Daraghmeh, who lives in Tubas, a village in the occupied West Bank.
Though she can see her son for just 45 minutes, and only through a glass partition, missing the monthly prison visit is a terrifying prospect for 70-year-old Daraghmeh.
Her family tried to dissuade her from taking the 12-hour trip that includes hours of waiting at checkpoints and a rigorous search before entering the prison.
“We even tried to lie to her by saying she didn’t have the permit, but it didn’t help,” says her daughter, Kheyreyeh.
For the rest of the month, Daraghmeh goes through old letters, photographs and books trying to fill the looming absence of her child.
More than 100,000 people from the occupied West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem take Red Cross buses every year to visit their relatives detained in Israel, a right granted to the detainees under international humanitarian laws.
This photo essay is provided by ICRC.