Israel’s Minister of Security, Yoav Gallant, has signed an order to seize 500,000 shekels ($148,000) and a vehicle belonging to the families of released prisoners Karim and Maher Younis, Yedioth Ahronoth reported today. Gallant claimed that the money and the vehicle were obtained from the stipends allotted to them by the Palestinian Authority.
The order signed by Gallant was apparently recommended by the Israel Defence Forces. Both men are from the town of Ar’ara in the Northern Triangle within the occupation state. An Israeli police unit raided the family homes and seized the money as well as a vehicle.
Palestinian prisoners and their families are persecuted, harassed and intimidated routinely by the Israeli authorities, which resent the fact that stipends are paid by the PA to support families while bread-winners are in prison. The stipend is no different to social security payments in other countries, but Israel is seen to be openly vindictive against all things Palestinian.
The occupation authorities released Karim and Maher Younis two weeks ago, after they had spent 40 years in Israeli prisons. On Monday, a large police unit raided Karim Younis’s home and took his brother’s wife and another relative in for investigation. They also confiscated a number of pictures and posters, and left an investigation summons for his brothers Nadim, Hakim and Tamim.
Last Friday, the Israeli police summoned Maher Younis and his brother Nader for questioning on charges of “incitement to terrorism”.
Such provocations against the two freed prisoners and their families are ongoing. It is a clear effort to dampen the happiness felt by the families that the men have been released after decades in prison. It is also an effort to deter friends and neighbours from going to the family home to offer congratulations on their release.