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Second longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israel completes 36 years behind bars

Ramallah Maher Abdul Latif Younis, 61, from the town of Arra in northern Israel and the second longest-serving Palestinian resistance prisoner in Israeli jails, completed on Thursday 36 years behind bars, the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) reported, adding that the longest-serving prisoner is his cousin, Karim Younis.

Maher Younis, who is incarcerated in the Naqab desert prison in the south of Israel, was arrested on 18 January 1983, two weeks after arresting Karim, and was charged with membership in the Palestinian Fatah organization, which was then an illegal organization, possession of weapons and killing an Israeli soldier.

He was first sentenced to death, but it was later commuted to life in prison. However, in 2012, the life term for Palestinian prisoners from inside Israel who are Israeli citizens, including Maher, was set to a maximum of 40 years.

Maher was denied by an Israeli court the right for visitation by second-degree relatives and was denied in 2008 an appeal to see his dying father.

Maher and Karim Younis were supposed to have been freed in 2014 as part of a larger US-sponsored Palestinian-Israeli peace deal that included the release of Palestinian resistance prisoners in four batches with 26 prisoners in each one. The cousins, along with others from inside Israel and occupied Jerusalem, were included in the fourth and last batch, before Israel reneged on the agreement and refused to release them, which eventually torpedoed the peace deal and created the stalemate that continues up to date.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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