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28 Palestinians detained in Israel prison for 25 years

Karim Younis, the longest-serving political prisoner who has been incarcerated since 1983 [Ma'an News Agency]
Karim Younis, the longest-serving political prisoner who has been incarcerated by Israel since 1983 [Ma'an News Agency]

Twenty-eight Palestinians have been detained in Israeli prison for more than 25 years, the Palestinian Prisoners' Commission (PPC) said today.

The PPC's statement said that among those detained are 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel, Wafa reported. Among the 13 detainees is Karim Younis, the longest-serving political prisoner who has been incarcerated since 1983. Younis, from the village of 'Ara southeast of Haifa, was arrested for "resisting the Israeli occupation" while attending Ben Gurion University.

Wafa adds that those Palestinians who have been imprisoned since before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 "were supposed to be released as part of a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority [PA], but Israel has reneged on their release".

Other Palestinians being held on long-term sentences include Maher Younis, also from 'Ara, Ibrahim and Rushdi Abu Mukh who were both arrested in 1986, and Samir Sarsawi from Ibtin, east of Haifa.

READ: Israel fined Palestinian child prisoners $13,000 in September

The PPC's statement comes a day after Mahmoud Jabarin was released from Israeli prison. A Palestinian political prisoner from Umm Al-Fahm, northern Israel, Jabarin was arrested in 1988 and has served 30 years in prison. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered on Sunday in Umm Al-Fahm to celebrate Jabarin's release.

Last week Israel also released and then rearrested French-Palestinian activist Salah Hamouri. Hamouri was ordered to pay a fine worth 3,000 shekels ($800) and sign a statement agreeing never to take part in popular Palestinian activities, before being released from Al-Naqab Prison. He was then immediately rearrested and taken to a detention centre in Jerusalem. Hamouri has spent 13 months in administrative detention and a total of six years in Israeli prison.

READ: How ironic that a Palestinian has been jailed by Israel for advocating prisoners' rights

In addition to those Palestinian citizens of Israel and internationals imprisoned, Israel also incarcerates hundreds of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank. Last week it emerged that Israel fined Palestinian child detainees being held in the notorious Ofer prison 46,000 shekels ($13,000) in September alone. In a statement, PPC reported 35 children were arrested and detained in Ofer prison in September, four of whom were arrested from their homes, 20 from the road side and seven at military checkpoints. September's arrests brought the total number of children being held in Ofer prison, located south of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, to 108.

According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, known as Addameer, as of August 2018 there were 5,781 political prisoners being held by Israel. Of these, 456 were administrative detainees, meaning they are held without charge or access to a fair trial. Among the highest numbers were those Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza Strip, at 401 and 316 respectively.

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