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Israel releases senior Hamas figure from administrative detention

July 10, 2023 at 8:36 am

Sheikh Hassan Yousef seen following his release from Israel’s Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 19, 2014 after spending 28 months in prison [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli occupation authorities released senior Hamas figure Sheikh Hasan Yousef from prison on Sunday after 21 months of administrative detention, Anadolu has reported. “My father was released from Ofer prison, west of Ramallah,” confirmed his son Oweis. “He is at home now.”

Dozens of Palestinians, including relatives and neighbours as well as national figures, welcome Yousef at his home in the town of Beitunia, in the west of Ramallah. After the Palestinian Authority ban on such receptions in halls in the city, his family was obliged to organise the event at his home.

Yousef, 68, was detained by the Israeli authorities in December 2021. Two months later, he was issued with an administrative detention order that was renewed periodically until he was released.

Sheikh Yousef is a Palestinian lawmaker and has spent a total of 24 years in Israeli prisons, most of them under administrative detention. In 1992, he was deported by the Israeli authorities along with more than 400 other Palestinian activists to Marj Al-Zohour, a village in southern Lebanon. They were allowed to return after a year when Israel faced an international backlash at the illegal deportations.

Palestinian statistics indicate that there are nearly 4,900 Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, including more than 500 held without charge or trial under Israel’s policy of administrative detention.

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