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Released Palestinian detainees struggle with life outside prison

Although Palestinian prisoners are given much attention and press when released, they face many challenges alone when it comes to re-entering everyday life.
A freed Palestinian prisoner (L) is greeted by a relative upon arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip December 18, 2011. Israel plans to release 550 Palestinian prisoners on Sunday in the second stage of a deal with Hamas that brought home soldier Gilad Shalit after five years of captivity in the Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR2VF9U
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Liberated prisoner Oweida Kalab, 50, closed all the windows and turned on the radio to listen to Hebrew-language stations. He locked himself inside his room and refused to see visitors or go outside, except for the rarest of occasions, as he relived his 25 years in prison. For 18 of these years he was in solitary confinement, unable to hear anything but the voices of his Israeli jailers.

His brother’s wife, Ferial Kalab, who takes care of him with her family, told Al-Monitor, “The [Israeli] occupation forces arrested him in 1988. We used to go visit him when he was still a young man. But in 1992 he began refusing to come out and meet with us, so we stopped going to see him. We got word from other prisoners that his mental state was deteriorating.” She explained that his comrades attributed this deterioration to the solitary confinement and interrogation methods used inside the prison.

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