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Israeli court allows Palestinian prisoner to hug son Open in fullscreen

Bashar Sulaiman

Israeli court allows Palestinian prisoner to hug son

Majd's mother had to wait outside the prison while he met his father [Al-Araby]

Date of publication: 1 December, 2014

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Majd, a one-year-old Palestinian boy conceived with sperm smuggled out of jail, meets his father for the first time after paternity ruling.

Majd al-Rimawi has just turned one. Until last week, he had never met his father. Fir that, he needed a ruling from the Israeli Supreme court.

Last year, Majd's father Abdul Kareem al-Rimawi smuggled his sperm out of his Israeli prison so that his wife, Lidia, could conceive. But Israel refused to acknowledge Rimawi's paternal claim and instead fined him 5,000 shekels (approximately US$1,500) for his defiance.

But Israel's supreme court recently ruled that Rimawi should be recognised as Majd's father. And with that, the pair finally met last week at Nafha prison in Mitzpe Ramon, where Rimawi is halfway through a 25-year sentence.

     Majd did not get special treatment, however. The one-year-old was first turned away by a prison guard.


The one-year-old did not get any special treatment, however. According to Lidia, the Israeli prison authorities did their best to obstruct the visit.

"When we arrived at the prison, a female Israeli prison guard told me that I was forbidden to see my husband and that I must leave.

"I was expecting that, but I was shocked when she asked me to take my child with me. I tried to explain that Majd was visiting his father in accordance with a court order, but she wasn’t responsive."

"I left, carrying my son, tears pouring down my cheeks. I didn’t know what to do. My lawyer asked me to wait and assured me that Majd would surely get to see his dad.”

A few minutes later, the lawyer informed the prison authorities about the court decision. The prison guard, however, told Lidia that while the boy could enter to see his father, he had to do so alone.

The one-year-old began to cry and refused to leave his mother and go with guards to meet his father for the first time. Eventually Majd's sister, Rand, who was also visiting, was allowed to take the boy .

Lidia, of Ramallah, said the visit filled her with "a great joy no one can imagine".

"What do you think a father feels when he hugs his son for the first time? A son who came to the world in such an unnatural way, after such suffering."

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

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