Karim Younes Frees After 40 Years in Israeli Prisons

Karim Younes meets with relatives, friends and the media in his hometown of Ara following his release on January 5, 2023. [Twitter]

Haifa, MINA – Karim Younes traveled to his hometown of Ara, a village in Haifa on Thursday after serving 40 years in an Israeli prison. The 63-year-old man has been behind bars longer than any Palestinian prisoner.

Speaking to a reporter, the ex-con looked excited. “Forty years have passed and I will sacrifice another forty years for the freedom of our people,” he said, The New Arab reported.

In 1983, an Israeli court sentenced Karim Younes to life for the 1980 murder of Avraham Bromberg, an Israeli soldier.

He was also convicted of being a member of the Fatah movement, outlawed at the time and illegally possessing weapons.

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In 2017, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas selected Karim Younes to become a member of Fatah’s Central Committee.

Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has banned Palestinians from celebrating Younes’ release.

Additionally, Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is reportedly considering stripping Younes of his Israeli citizenship and suggesting steps to possibly expel him.

Israeli forces transported Karim Younis from Hadarim prison to the town of Raanana, some 57 kilometers from his home in Ara.

In Raanana, Younes was left at the bus terminal without being able to call relatives. Then, finally, he saw the Arab workers who helped him call his relatives in Ara.

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“The prisoners are strong, and their strength lies in their unity. God willing they will be free, all of them. Now I am waiting for Maher Younes’ release,” Karim told reporters.

Maher Younes, a relative of Karim, was jailed and convicted on the same charge. He will be released soon.

Days before being released from Hadarim prison, Karim wrote a letter expressing mixed feelings about leaving his comrades and longing for release.

“I will leave my cell, but my soul will remain with those who have fought for Palestine,” he wrote.

The first thing Karim visited in Ara was the cemetery where his parents were buried. (T/RE1)

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Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)