Palestinian Karim freed from Israeli prison after 40 years

Palestinian Karim freed

Palestinian Karim, rights leader Karim Yunus has been released from Israeli prison after 40 years. No other Palestinian has been held in Israeli prisons for as long as he has. Currently, he is 66 years old.

Karim Yunus was released from Tel Aviv’s Hadarim prison early Thursday morning local time. His home is in the Palestinian village of Ara, inside Israel. On hearing the news of his release, the village was filled with people.

Palestinian Karim

Karim Yunus was arrested in 1983. He was accused of killing an Israeli soldier in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Yunus Karim said in a TV interview after coming to the village, “I would have been happier if my other imprisoned brothers were released.” I have been freed, but I have left them in prison. I hope we can celebrate the release of other prisoners very soon,” he said.

Al-Jazeera Reporter

Al-Jazeera reporter Imran Khan from the Ara area said that Yunus left the prison at 5:30 am on Thursday. On hearing the news, thousands of people came out on the streets of the village to welcome him.

Imran Khan said that Karim Yunus was an important leader of the Palestinian rights movement. When he was arrested on charges of killing soldiers, he was considered a promising leader in Palestinian politics.

Most prisoners in Israeli prisons are Palestinian citizens of the occupied West Bank. But Yunus was a Palestinian living in Israel.

Journalist Imran Khan

Journalist Imran Khan said Palestinians say that Karim Yunus used to speak against Israeli occupation. But Israel has been claiming the occupation of Palestinian territories as its internal affairs. Yunus was sentenced to life imprisonment. Later his sentence was increased to 40 years. He was released after completing his full term of imprisonment.

Israeli military intelligence visited

Before Yunus was released, Israeli military intelligence visited his home in the village of Ara. The soldiers forbade any celebration on the occasion of his release. But the crowd says that his family and villagers are not able to comply with the Israeli restrictions.

According to local media reports, Yunus Karim was released early in the morning without prior announcement to avoid mass gatherings in front of the prison. He was then dropped off in a police car at a bus station near Ranana, north of Tel Aviv.

Yunus Karim

After being dropped off at the bus station, Yunus Karim contacted the family from a passerby’s cell phone. Later one of his relatives took him from there to the village house.

Release

After returning to the village, Yunus visited his mother’s grave. The mother could not see her son’s release. He died eight months ago. A few photos of Karim Yunus sitting in front of his mother’s grave have been spread in local and international media.

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