Israel frees Palestinian prisoner after 40 years


Israeli forces kill Palestinian boy in West Bank

One of Israel’s longest serving Palestinian prisoners went free on Thursday after completing a 40-year sentence, as members of the new right-wing government called for him to be stripped of his citizenship.

Karim Younes, 60, was convicted of kidnapping and killing Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1983 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. He served the longest continuous sentence of any Palestinian, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Association.

In his hometown, the Israeli Arab village of Ara, Younes received a hero’s welcome. Shrouded in a traditional Palestinian shawl, he was greeted by family, friends and supporters chanting and carrying him through the streets on their shoulders.

“It was 40 years full of stories, prisoners’ stories and each story is a story of a nation,” Younes said. “I am very proud to be one of those who made sacrifices for Palestine and we were ready to sacrifice more for the sake of the cause of Palestine.”

Meanwhile the health ministry announced, “Amer Abu Zeitoun, 16, was killed by a bullet in the head fired by the occupation (Israeli) soldiers during the aggression on Nablus at dawn today”. The Israeli army did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the overnight operation.

In a statement, the Lions’ Den a local militant Palestinian group said its fighters had been involved in the overnight clashes in the Balata refugee camp in Nablus. Zeitoun is the fourth Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the start of the year. On Tuesday, 15-year-old Adam Essam Shaker Ayyad was killed in Bethlehem as Israel said its forces fired on people throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.—Agencies