Middle East Monitor / November 22, 2021
An appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court in Israel for the release of a Palestinian prisoner held for 42 years by the occupation state. Nael Barghouthi, 64, has been in an Israeli prison since 1978.
Although he was released in 2011 in a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, Barghouthi was re-arrested after just 32 months following “secret claims” made against him. His life sentence was reinstated.
During that short burst of freedom, Barghouthi married Iman Nafei. “If the appeal is turned down,” she said, “we will go to the International Criminal Court to file a complaint against the Israeli occupation and what it is doing to my husband.”
His family have lost hope in protests and appeals to the Palestinian leadership and international organizations to put pressure on Israel to release Barghouthi. “We miss him,” explained his sister Hanan, “but I think that there is nothing that we can do to help bring about his release, and the release of all the other Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.”
Hanan is Nael Barghouthi’s only close relative still alive. During his detention, he has lost his parents, his brother, his nephew and many other relatives. She feels that the only people thinking seriously about his plight are the members of the Palestinian resistance factions.
“We have full confidence in them,” she told Safa news agency. “They can release all of the prisoners.”