The Israeli occupation authorities released Palestinian prisoner Maher Younis after holding him for forty years in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported.
Younis, 63, was one of the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. He was released from a prison in the Naqab desert to return to his home in the town of A’ra. First, though, he went to the grave of his father, who died in 2008.
“We wish for the freedom of all prisoners and hope to see them in good health,” Younis said in his first public statement.
“The best gift to our Palestinian people is for us to be on the path of reconciliation and completely liberated. My hope had been to see my homeland liberated after 40 years.”
Israel banned any celebrations. Pictures show occupation forces surrounding his house to prevent any celebration tents from being erected.
Palestinian prisoner Maher Younis embraces freedom and reunites with his mother after spending 40 years behind Israeli prison bars pic.twitter.com/by4MdX0C34
— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) January 19, 2023
Far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has stressed the ban on flying Palestinian flags in celebration of the release of prisoners.
Younis was 22 when he was arrested in his hometown and sentenced on January 18, 1983, to life in prison later commuted to 40 years.
His cousin, Karim Younis, was also released two weeks earlier also after serving 40 years in prison.
(PC, MEMO, SOCIAL)