Days of Palestine

Friday, March 31

Palestinian detainees enter 40th year in Israeli custody


The two longest-serving Palestinian freedom fighters incarcerated in Israel have entered their 40th and last year behind bars, Palestinian news agencies reported citing the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) yesterday.

According to PPS, Karim Younis, 63, and his cousin, Maher Younis, 64, both from the Arab-Israeli town of Ara in northern Israel, were detained on 6 January 1983 for their resistance of the Israeli occupation and sentenced to life in prison, which was later commuted to 40 years.

PPC said the Younis cousins were supposed to have been freed in 2014 in a deal brokered by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry in which Israel was supposed to free all Palestinian prisoners detained before the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords that launched the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.

The prisoners were due to be released in four batches. However, Israel did not fulfill its obligations, releasing only the first three batches which included mainly

Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Detains from occupied East Jerusalem and Israel were not released.

In a previous interview with Arab48, Karim’s mother, Sobhia Younis, who is over 80 years old, said the most painful moments during his decades of captivity, was in 1985 when Karim was supposed to be released as part of a prisoner swap deal and Israeli authorities decided to detain him just as he was walking out of prison.

Both prisoners are due to be released in a year’s time, PPS said.