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Riziq Salah was reading when soldiers stormed his home 20 years ago

Oct. 29, 2013 9:07 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 30, 2013 2:36 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – “Since the first group of veteran prisoners were released, I have been busy preparing to receive him, buy the clothes he liked and cook the meals he was fond of,” says the wife of Riziq Salah, a veteran Palestinian prisoner from Al-Khader near Bethlehem.

Salah has been in Israel’s custody since June 7, 1993. He is scheduled to be released at midnight Wednesday along with 25 others who were detained before the Oslo Accords.

Speaking to Ma’an hours earlier, his wife Jihad Salah highlighted that his favorite meal was stuffed vine leaves. “However, he asked me to prepare stuffed sheep,” Jihad added as she remembered bygones.

Salah was sentenced to life in prison on charges of hurling an explosive device at the headquarters of the Israeli forces in Bethlehem killing one soldier and injuring two others.

The main roads in al-Khadr and the historic arch on the road between Bethlehem and Hebron were full of giant images of Salah and posters congratulating him and his family. The side-street leading to his home in the southernmost neighborhood of Um Rukba was decorated with Palestinian flags, images of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as well as images of Salah.

His wife recalled the night Israeli troops ransacked her home more than 20 years ago: “He was reading a book titled Beirut Earthquake by Muhammad Natour when they stormed the house.”

The book, she said, is still on the shelf waiting for him to finish it.

Salah's mother died on Nov. 7, 2009.
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