The Story of a Political Prisoner – Majde Mahmoud Za’aqiq
Name: Majde Mahmoud Za’aqiq
Marital Status: Divorced
Father of two children
Age: 41 years
Address: Beit Ommar
Currently: Detained in Israeli occupation prisons.
Charge: peaceful resistance to the occupation and defense of human rights.
The story of detention started 25/8/2011 – the month of holy Ramadan. Madje was fasting. The day of detention was a Saturday, the day we usually go to protest -non-violent march, against the settlement and the Israeli apartheid wall. Our weapons that day consisted of: the power of right, banners, flags, good will, dreams, hopes, the justice of our cause and our defense of Palestinian human rights and humanity as a whole.
These humanitarian weapons terrorized the Israeli occupation army, who were heavily armed awaiting our arrival to pounce on us. We were accompanied with dozens of Israeli and international peace and solidarity activists who want to bring peace, freedom, justice and victory for Palestinians and Israelis, and to the citizens of Beit Ommar whose land was seized at gun point by the Israeli occupation and the settlers.
When we got to the outskirts of the settlement of Karmi Tsur which is built on Palestinian land of Beit Ommar farmers, the Israeli soldiers attacked and beat us, and they used tear gas, rubber bullets and above all firing live bullets at demonstrators, resulting in some injuries due to being beaten and some cases of choking due to inhaleing gas.
Seven participants were arrested – 5 International and Israeli solidarity activists and 2 Palestinian activists, 5 were released late at night same day, and they continued the arrest of two, one of them a Spanish citizen, was released after two days, the other was Majde Za’aqiq member of the National Committee Against the Wall and settlement – Beit Ommar. The arrest of Majde came after the protest was over. Majde he was sitting in a car, and suddenly the occupation army soldiers took him out of the car where he was waiting for us, arrested him, hit him and insulted him.
After we returned to our homes, we decided to go to visit the sons of Majde: Qassam, is 5 years old and suffers from permanent hearing loss and studies in Ma’an school for people with special needs in Hebron. Kotaibah is three years old. Once we got to Majde`s house, Qassam shouted out loud: “where is my father?” We did not know how to answer him at that moment, but one of us answered and said he went to work and will stay for a few days but when he comes back he will bring you a lot of gifts, but Qassam in an angry voice said: “just take me to my father, I do not want gifts, I want my father”, and burst into tears. When Kotaibah saw his brother crying, he burst into tears too.
We could not tolerate this situation, and we went out in the hope that Majde would be released soon to return home to his children. But the occupation army refused to release him despite that he was not charged with any offense. Majde is still suspended for three months so far without any charge.
Qassam requires the presence of his father at all time. He needs to be taken care of because he is a child, and because of his disability. Qassam needs someone to take him to school every day back and forth, and he and his brother need constant care. Instead of playing with their toys and enjoying their childhood, unfortunately they will have to keep looking for answers to their pressing question: “where is Daddy?” We tried through the lawyer to assure Majde that things are fine with his sons, but in fact things are not good because he is in jail. His only sin and crime was sticking to his land, adheres to his rights, and his dream to live in freedom and dignity together with his children, like all human beings on this earth.
By: Younes Arar
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