Khaled Jaradat receives a visit from his four-year-old daughter, Wafa, in an Israeli prison in 1997.
“There is no doubt the pressure made by Amnesty International has led to my release.”
Khaled Jaradat, 2010, Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories
A father of six was returned to his family from an Israeli prison after Amnesty International’s members took action.
Khaled Hussein ‘Abd al-Karim Jaradat is an English teacher, charity campaigner and father of six children. He could have lived an ordinary life in his village, Silat al-Harthiya, on the occupied West Bank. Instead, he has been in and out of prison in Israel since the 1980s.
Khaled Jaradat’s six children have had to get used to their father being absent. The Israeli General Security Services have put him in prison many times since the 1980s. They claimed he was a member of a Palestinian militant organization, Islamic Jihad. But they produced no evidence to support these allegations. This left Khaled Jaradat and his lawyer with no opportunity to challenge the reasons why he’d been detained.
The Israeli authorities use “administrative detention” to hold people without charge or trial for indefinite periods. They say this is in the interest of “security”.
When Khaled Jaradat was detained again in 2008, Amnesty International members started campaigning for his release. We also visited his family in April 2010. When we asked 13-year-old Hadi what he missed most about his father, he said:
“My dad used to help me with my English homework. Now, when I don’t understand a lesson, I can’t ask him to explain it to me. And my dad is a big gardener, and we used to work in the garden together, which was fun, but now I have to do it alone. We have apricot, plum, and lemon trees, and olives. And also... there are things that my dad knows how to do that my mum doesn’t. Like felafel.”
Members of local groups in countries including Austria, Sweden, Ireland and Germany, wrote letters asking for Khaled Jaradat to be released. Their calls were answered on 15 July 2010, when he was allowed to go home to his family. He told those who had campaigned on his behalf:
“I appreciate the work and effort of Amnesty International members to secure my release. I have received many letters. I can’t remember the names of all those who wrote to me but they all told me they were writing to the Israelis to release me. There is no doubt the pressure made by Amnesty International has led to my release. I thank you for that and I hope you continue working on other cases until they are released as well.”