Jerusalem, Jan 5 (EFE).- Israel has released its longest-serving Palestinian prisoner Karim Younis after 40 years.
Younis, 62, was arrested in 1983 and charged with the kidnap and murder of Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg several years earlier.
Initially sentenced to death, Younis’ lawyer managed to reduce the term to life in prison. It was later further reduced to 40 years under former Israeli president Shimon Peres.
Younis is an official for the Fatah political party that partially-governs the occupied West Bank.
Fatah leader and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas welcomed his release Thursday, describing him as a symbol of the “Palestinian people,” the official Wafa news agency reported.
Born in the town of ‘Ara in northern Israel, 66-year-old Younis was subjected to torture by Israeli authorities, the Palestinian ministry of detainees has claimed.
During his imprisonment, Younis, a mechanical engineer, managed to complete a degree in Political Science and History of the Middle East, and later pursued a master’s degree in the same field.
On Thursday morning, Younis was released in Raanana, a city in central Israel.
Israel’s new security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is known for his anti-Arab rhetoric, tweeted: “Until we apply the death penalty to terrorists, I will do everything with God’s help so that they get out of prison in shame.”
According to the Palestinian foreign affairs ministry, Israel has jailed or detained over 800,000 Palestinians since the beginning of its occupation of the West Bank in 1967. Currently, some 4,700 Palestinians are being held in Israel.EFE