Walid was born in 1961 in Baqa’ al-Gharbiyya in occupied Palestine ’48. He is known as one of the most prominent thinkers and intellectuals of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. He was seized by occupation forces on 3/25/1986 on charges of forming a commando cell and kidnapping and killing a Zionist soldier. He was initially sentenced to death, and later the sentence was commuted to 37 years in prison. The occupation added two years to his sentence in 2018, bringing him to 39 years, for allegedly smuggling mobile phones into prison.
Life in Prison
Once behind bars, he obtained a master’s degree in political science and wrote several books in the realm of political theory as well as fiction, including children’s fiction. On multiple occasions, he has faced harsh repression, including solitary confinement, especially targeted toward his expressive work. For example, Daqqa was thrown into solitary confinement when he published a new children’s book, “The Secret of Oil”; a launch event for the book in the town of Majd al-Kurum was shut down by far-right Israeli minister Aryeh Deri. In the preface to the book, Daqqa wrote, “I write until I am freed from prison, with the hope of freeing the prison from me.” This followed the defunding of a Haifa Palestinian theater that exhibited a play based on his work “Parallel Time.”
In the book, Daqqa tells an imaginative story about a child born through smuggled sperm, where Palestinian prisoners smuggle sperm to their wives to allow them to have children from behind bars. In 1999, Daqqa married Sana’ Salameh, even as he was behind bars, and in 2020, Sana’ gave birth to their daughter, Milad, conceived from Daqqa’s smuggled sperm.
Daqqa is in Ashkelon prison, and in recent years he has been subjected to severe medical neglect, with complete disregard for his life, and not allowing specialized doctors to examine him. In December 2022, it was revealed that he has myelofibrosis, a rare form of cancer, after initially being diagnosed with leukemia. He is continuing to fight to receive the treatment that he needs.