Who is Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, released by Israel?



After spending 40 years in Israeli jail, Karim Younis, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner has been released.

66-year-old Younis was free of Hadarim jail and left in the metropolis of Ra’anana, about 20 km north of Tel Aviv, by Israeli authorities on early Thursday (5 January) morning, reported Al Jazeera.

Wearing a black and white keffiyeh round his shoulders, Younis was welcomed by a whole bunch of supporters singing the Palestinian nationwide anthem in ‘Ara, his hometown in northern Israel. “Every prisoner’s story is the story of an entire people and I am proud to be one of those who sacrificed for Palestine,” Younis instructed AFP after his launch.

Who is Karim Younis and why was he arrested? How many Palestinian prisoners have been imprisoned by Israel? Let’s take a better look.

Karim Younis and his arrest

Younis, who is an Arab-Israeli, was arrested in 1983 and charged with the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldier, Avraham Bromberg, three years prior in the occupied Golan Heights.

He was sentenced to dying which was later commuted to 40 years in jail, Abu Dhabi-headquartered newspaper The National reported.

Younis belongs to Israel’s Arab minority, most of whom determine as Palestinians, in response to AFP.

“It was 40 years full of stories, prisoners’ stories and each story is a story of a nation,” Younis mentioned after his launch.

“I am very proud to be one of those who made sacrifices for Palestine and we were ready to sacrifice more for the sake of the cause of Palestine,” he was quoted as saying by The National.

As per Al Jazeera, Younis was a “key figure in the Palestinian struggle”. “He is seen as somebody who was a rising star within Palestinian politics when he was arrested and charged with murder,” Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan mentioned.

Who is Karim Younis the longestserving Palestinian prisoner released by Israel

Karim Younis was arrested for killing an Israeli soldier. AP File Photo

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas mentioned Younis “represents a symbol of the Palestinian people and the free people of the world in steadfastness”, reported BBC.

Younis’s cousin, Maher Younis, who was additionally convicted of Bromberg’s homicide, is additionally anticipated to be freed in two weeks, as per Times of Israel.

Palestinian Prisoners’ Club advocacy group talked about that Younis was amongst these prisoners who had been presupposed to be released in 2013 as a part of a deal mediated by the then-US secretary of state John Kerry, however the negotiation fell by way of.

Comparing his launch to a “military operation”, Younis instructed Al Jazeera that he was shifted between totally different police vehicles earlier than being dropped off at a bus station in Ra’anana. He then contacted his household with the assist of a passerby.

Younis’s brother, Nadem, instructed AFP that his pleasure was “unlimited” however “incomplete” as their mother and father died throughout his sibling’s imprisonment.

“His hair and wrinkles have changed, but his resilience increased and multiplied dozens of times,” Nadem mentioned of his brother.

Upon his launch, Younis visited his aunt, Maher’s mom, earlier than going to the graves of his mother and father, Palestinian Wafa information company reported as per The National.

ALSO READ: Palestine: Protests erupt as Israel refuses to launch our bodies of prisoners

Family instructed to not ‘mark’ launch

National Security minister Itamar Ben Gvir ordered Younis’ launch earlier than daybreak with a view to forestall festivities exterior the jail, Channel 13 reported.

Citing Kan News, Times of Israel mentioned in its article that Ben Gvir has additionally instructed police to watch public celebrations in Younis’ village.

Israeli army intelligence additionally instructed Younis’ household earlier than his launch to not “mark it”, as per Al Jazeera report.

But apparently, the directions had been disregarded.

Israeli minister requires revoking citizenship

Younis’ launch comes days after Israel’s “most right-wing government in its history” was sworn in, famous The National.

Several ministers have known as for harsher motion towards Palestinian prisoners, together with these with Israeli citizenship.

Earlier on Tuesday, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri wrote a letter to Israel’s lawyer common asking for revoking the citizenship of Younis, saying such a transfer “has legal validity in circumstances when people use their Israeli citizenship to harm” Israel and its residents, reported The National.

Bromberg’s nephew additionally known as for stripping Younis’ citizenship.

“An Israeli citizen can’t hold an Israeli ID card with one hand and murder a soldier with another and it can’t be that the murderer will be freed from jail and walk around like anyone among our nation,” he instructed the Israeli Walla information.

Hitting out at Younis, Bromberg’s sister, Adah, instructed the Israel Hayom newspaper earlier that it was “unthinkable that such people should walk among us, laugh, and enjoy themselves”.

How many Palestinians are jailed by Israel?

According to the Palestinian human rights group Addameer, round 4,700 Palestinian prisoners are at present held in Israeli prisons, together with 150 children and 835 administrative detainees, who’re held with out cost or trial.

In 2021 alone, the Israeli army arrested about 8,000 Palestinians, together with over 1,300 minors and 184 ladies, Al Jazeera reported.

With inputs from businesses

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