Israel frees 2nd longest-serving Palestinian prisoner

Published January 19th, 2023 - 08:51 GMT

ALBAWABA –  Israel released the second longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, who spent the past four decades in an Israeli jailhouse.

Maher Younes, 65, was released on Thursday after serving the full term of his 40-year sentence. He was convicted of resistance to the Israeli occupation.

عاجل| وزارة الأسرى والمحررين: الاحتلال يفرج عن الأسير ماهر يونس من بلدة عارة بالداخل المحتل، بعد اعتقال دام 40 عامًا.

— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) January 19, 2023

His release comes two weeks after his cousin, Karim, was released from Israeli jail. He was the first longest-serving Palestinian to be set free on Jan. 5. after spending four decades in prisons.

Karim Younes, 66, was a member of the Central Committee of the ruling Fatah movement, the largest among Palestinian factions. He was born on Nov. 23, 1958, in the town of Ara, and while studying, Israeli police forces arrested him on Jan. 6, 1983, citing his political activism.

Maher Younes was arrested on Jan. 18, 1983. Initially, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted.

Circumstances did not prevent the ex-prisoner from carrying on with his life, despite being subjected to harsh conditions in jail. He studied and obtained a Bachelor's degree in political science during his imprisonment.

Despite the threats of the Israeli police to Younes's family against holding a public activity to celebrate his release, pictures and videos circulating on social media showed large crowds flocking into his family's home to celebrate his freedom.

تغطية صحفية: من منزل الأسير ماهر يونس بانتظار وصوله بعد تحرره من الأسر الذي قضى فيه 40 عامًا.

— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) January 19, 2023

Among the videos was an emotional one showing the ex-prisoner's mother ululating and thanking God for his return home.

The first call took place between the mother and her son while he was on his way back home. In the midst of the conversation that took place between them, the mother beseeched God to have all Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails.

تغطية صحفية: "اللحظات الأولى لاستقبال المحرر ماهر يونس من والدته بعد 40 عامًا في الأسر".

— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) January 19, 2023

In the past two weeks, Younes held the title of dean of Palestinian prisoners, given that he was serving the longest sentence. He assumed the title after his cousin, Karim, was released.

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