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Gaza girl hopes to see jailed father for first time in 9 years

May 19, 2012 12:33 P.M. (Updated: May 20, 2012 3:05 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Ten-year-old Jumanah Abu Jazar is preparing to visit her father for the first time since he was detained by Israeli forces in 2003.

Following the recent agreement between prisoners and Israeli authorities to end hunger strike action, families from Gaza can now visit their relatives in Israeli jails.

After the agreement was signed last week, Jumanah began looking through old photos of her father, Alaa Abu Jazar, to remind herself of what he looked like.

"I recognize my father only from his photos. When I receive my school transcript, I weep because there is nobody to share my joy with. My father is in jail, my mother is dead as well as my grandfather and my uncle. I don't even wear new clothes during holidays," she told Ma'an.

Prisoners signed a deal on Monday with the Israeli prison authority to end their mass hunger strike. There had previously been a ban on family visits for detainees from the Gaza Strip.

Jumanah's mother died when she was four months old. Her uncle then took care of her but one year later was killed by Israeli forces. She now lives with her grandmother in Rafah.

Alaa Abu Jazar studied accounting at the Islamic University in Gaza City and was detained by Israel after returning from Egypt, where he had taken his father for medical treatment.

Jumanah's grandmother told Ma'an that she hopes she can visit her son.

The family have only spoken to Alaa twice since he has been imprisoned, once when his brother Ayman was killed, and again when his father passed away.
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