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Palestinian factions congratulate prisoner released after 40 years

One of the longest-serving Palestinian political prisoners, Karim Younis, 66, has been released from an Israeli jail after serving 40 years for the alleged killing of an Israeli soldier.

January 5, 2023 at 12:54 pm

Palestinian factions have today congratulated freed prisoner Karim Younis on his release after serving more than four decades in Israeli occupation prisons. The factions issued separate statements which were seen by Safa news agency.

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, pointed out that during his years of detention Younis embodied the most impressive forms of defiance, steadfastness and patience. His example, said Hamas, will remain a source of pride for every Palestinian, and an inspiration for further steadfastness until freedom and independence is won.

“We join the family of the freed fighter Karim Younis, the masses of our people and our other prisoners in their joy at his release,” said the movement. “And we stand proudly before the sacrifices and heroism of our free prisoners and our brave female prisoners in the [Israeli] occupation prisons.”

The Fatah Central Committee, meanwhile, stressed that Younis’s legendary steadfastness set an authentic example for all the free people of the world who are determined to reject injustice, persecution and racism. It added that the Israeli occupation authority’s attempt to prevent any celebration of his release by setting him free without notice will not succeed. Celebrations will be held, it insisted, in a manner worthy of Younis and the other prisoners.

According to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Younis’s 40 years spent behind bars illustrates the “fascism and criminality” of the occupation state and the “complicity” of the international system.

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The PFLP warned about any Israeli escalation violating the rights of Palestinian prisoners after the appointment of far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir as a minister with the power to impose more abuse and repression upon them. “Any Israeli attack or escalation against the prisoners would be equivalent to an explosion of the entire situation,” it explained. “Our people and the resistance will not allow the prisoners to be singled out.”

A spokesman for the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, Tariq Selmi, also congratulated Karim Younis, his family, friends, companions and the Palestinians in the occupied territories and across Palestine. “The struggle will not stop until the end of the occupation, the liberation of our land, and the return of our refugees everywhere to their homes.”

The Popular Resistance Committees stressed that the prisoner issue is one of the “most obligatory duties” for the people of occupied Palestine. “We will not stop until all prisoners return to the embrace of their families and people, regardless of the sacrifices involved.”

This echoed the statement made by Zaher Jabarin, a member of the Hamas political bureau. “Our people’s joy at Younis’s release remains incomplete until the greatest joy is achieved by liberating all of our heroes who remain behind the bars of Israeli injustice and oppression. The resistance will keep its promise to work day and night until all prisoners are liberated.”