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May and November are the only two times in a year that families are allowed to bring their imprisoned loved ones new clothes. May stands for summer clothes, November – for winter. Only black, white, grey, red, and brown clothes are allowed. No pockets, no zippers. No “Free Palestine” slogans.

The May parcel is limited by the Israeli Prison Service to:

6x pairs of socks
6x undershirts
6x underwear
4x T-shirts
2x shorts or 2x sports trousers
2x towels
1x set of bedsheets for a single bed

May is also the one month when Palestinians whom Israel holds prisoners in its dungeons – including children, including the Hares Boys – can send their families a couple of photos of themselves in prison. Only parents who are over 50 years old are allowed to have their pictures taken with their imprisoned children.

A family visit lasts 45min over a glass wall and through a telephone that often does not work properly. No touching, no hugging, no wiping away of one another’s tears.

Family visits in Israeli occupation prisons are arranged via the Red Cross. If all goes well – and it rarely does – two members of a family can visit their child in prison once or twice a month. However, obtaining a visit permit is extremely difficult. Sometimes Israel only gives permits to the children of the family and denies the adults such luxury. In cases like this, it’s children visiting children in prison.

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