Rajab Tahhan is a Palestinian prisoner who is serving a life sentence in Israeli prisons, He was allowed only 30 minutes to see his 19 years old son, Majd, in his hospital bed where he is being treated from leukemia.
The Prisoners Affairs Commission said the Israeli Prison Services brought Tahhan to see his son, who has leukemia, at Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem. His hand and foot cuffed and without the presence of any other family member. The ward was even shut down during the short visit.
Prisoner Rajab did not recognize Majd at first. Bassem Tahhan who is Rajab’s brother said that, “In the beginning, Rajab thought that the prison administration tricked him and brought him to one of the patients, not to his son Majd, and to deal with that, the prisoner Rajab asked Majd,” What is your name and what is the name of your brothers and uncles and grandparents? ” and then he realized that it is his son whose features have changed from his sickness.
As for the details of the heart breaking meeting, Both father and son cried during the entire visit, which, according to Tahhan family members, was mixed with feelings of joy and sadness at the same time, he said, “We had recommended Majd to stay strong in front of his father, and that Majd was suffering all night from pain in his stomach and remained lying on hisbed, only in the minute that his father entered to visit him he had risen from bed minutes. More pain manifested because Rajab did not recognize his son because of the changes caused by Majd’s disease.
The father and his son only met for half an hour. The father recited verses from the Holy Quran and asked him to remain strong, while the grief and pain filled Rajab’s heart who tried to stay strong in front of his sick son, but who can withstand this scene, a father seeing his son suffer from pain while being denied to stay by his side, give him support and help him in his sickness. With what power did Majd mange to stay strong in front of his father and how did the father mange to hold back his tears, which he will let out after his return to the Israeli prison.
The Commission’s legal staff has approached Israeli courts to allow the father to see his critically ill son. The Israeli District Court in Beersheba finally ruled after several appeals to allow the brief visit.
Tahhan was one the prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, but was re-detained in 2014 and his former life term was reinstated.