40 years of suffering and waiting.. The family of prison dean Karim Younes is counting the minutes | Hurryat News

Occupied Jerusalem – The family of the prisoner Karim Younis, in her birthplace in the city of Ara, in the Palestinian interior, is waiting hot as embers on January 6, 2023, to set a date with freedom and end 4 decades of waiting for the moment. her son, the dean of Palestinian prisoners, was released from the prison of the Israeli occupation.

Prisoner Younes (66) entered his 40th year of imprisonment on January 6, 2019. He is in Hadarim prison, where he was arrested at the age of 23 on charges of kidnapping and killing an Israeli soldier, a member of the Fatah movement, and providing armed resistance.

In the courtyard of the house overlooking the Wadi Ara street, the mother of the dean of Palestinian prisoners, Hajj Subhiya Younes, sat as usual in the nineties, waiting for freedom and the embrace of her first-born son, whom the occupation policy and prison walls prevented from embracing her. For 39 years and 4 months, Umm Karim lived, moving between Israeli prisons to see her son for half an hour behind bars or behind a glass wall, like other mothers and families of old Palestinian prisoners from 48.

season of suffering

Umm Kerim no longer remembers the details of the chapter of suffering and the stories she kept telling in the courtyard of the house from which Karim was absent for 39 and a half years, although she was tired of the illness and her memory failed her. with some details of the painful journey, but her longing for Karim is growing and she eagerly counts the days, weeks and months until the promised day.

Haja Subhiya experienced mixed and painful feelings in the prison cells, like the mothers of prisoners, but she seemed steadfast in the yard of her house, where the procession of torments turned into stations of hope as Karim’s freedom approached, so that the prison bars were steadfast. he would be broken and joy and gladness would return to the yard of the house.

With the rebirth of life and the hope of a generous embrace of freedom to make the meaning of family life complete, the mother of the dean of Palestinian prisoners recounted with her usual smile to Al-Jazeera Net station life from the sixth of January 1983, the day of her son’s arrest until now, saying: “The wait has been long and I want to hug Karim and hug him.” on your chest.

The 90-year-old fears that her dream will not come true, and months later she hugs her son because she is afraid that death will separate them in the last moments before that date.

Stand of solidarity and support for the dean of prisoners, Karim Younis, in front of Gilboa prison (Al-Jazeera)

Black January

Despite her fears, the prisoner’s dean’s mother soon regained her smile and recalled the first and only time the Israeli Prisons Authority allowed her to hug Karim many years ago, when her husband Youssef accompanied her on a visit, when all the prisoners were allowed to take pictures with their families, the hug was for her son. It was very intense and how much I wanted it to last longer, but the encounter with feelings stopped after a few minutes on the order of the jailer.

In anticipation of a reunion and a hug, Umm Karim’s feelings are mixed whenever “black January”, as she chooses to call it, approaches. On January 6, 1983, Karim was arrested and was not with her for decades, and on the same date in 2013, she lost her training companion, her husband Youssef, who died without the Israeli authorities allowing Karim to see him for the last time. parting.

The family of the dean of Palestinian prisoners embodies the suffering of the families of old prisoners detained before the Oslo Accords signed in 1993. They numbered 30 prisoners, including 14 Palestinian prisoners out of 48, as they were to be released within the fourth batch of agreements concluded between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government in July 2013.

Oslo of understanding

The deals between Tel Aviv and Ramallah were settled by an American; Release of all old prisoners in 4 groups of 26 prisoners in each group. However, Tel Aviv broke its promise and refrained from releasing the prisoners from the fourth group because the vast majority of them hold Israeli citizenship, which Tel Aviv considered an “internal Israeli matter.”

In addition to old prisoners who have Israeli citizenship, more than 150 prisoners from 48 Palestinians are languishing in Israeli prisons serving sentences of 10 to 20 years, due to their participation and role in the struggle and march for the liberation of the Palestinian people. , as they were convicted of security charges, participating in armed resistance and aiding Palestinian factions.

The events of the May 2021 Endowment of Dignity, witnessed by historic Palestine, recalled the biography and march of the prisoners’ movement, which was formed in 48 countries after the occupation of Arab lands in 1967, and was a key element in the national movement and the Palestinian struggle and project of liberation .

Memorial mural at the entrance of the Younis family, which longs for the freedom of Karim and Maher.
Memorial mural at the entrance to the house of the Yunis family (Al-Jazeera)

A gift of dignity

During the year following the bestowal, Israeli security services arrested 3,100 Palestinians (from Jerusalem and 48 territories), who have Israeli citizenship or residency, as 2,000 arrests were recorded, including the arrest of 291 Palestinian children in 1948.

Hundreds of them have been indicted by Israel’s public prosecutor’s office, and most have received retaliatory sentences, including suspended prison terms and heavy fines, according to Adalah (Legal Center for the Protection of Arab Minority Rights).

In light of escalating tensions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the implementation of armed operations deep in Israeli cities, Israeli security services have escalated the use of administrative detention policies, as Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz signed approximately 200 administrative detention orders for Palestinians from the interior and Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities also carried out 56 administrative detentions in March of last year, under the pretext of “conducting preventive activities to thwart the implementation of operations,” according to the HaMoked Individual Defense Center.

Since 1967, the prisoners’ movement has recorded more than a million arrests of Palestinian and Arab prisoners, including thousands of Palestinians from 1948 who were arrested and convicted for supporting the Palestinian struggle and served various sentences, in addition to thousands who were arrested after the Nakba and during the period of military rule which lasted until the end of 1966.

fight compass

Returning to the march of the prisoners’ movement, which followed the development and expansion of the activities of the national movement within the Palestinian territories, lawyer Tamim Younes, the younger brother of the dean of Palestinian prisoners, recalls 4 decades of suffering, patience and waiting to meet Karim, because Tamim was 16 years old when his brother was arrested with his cousins ​​Sami and Maher Younis. .

Tamim followed the path of his homeland and dedicated his education and his life to supporting the prisoners and the prisoners’ movement, advocating for it in Israeli courts.

Younes says the old prisoners and all 48 Palestinian prisoners are an integral part of the prisoner movement, all led by the dean of prisoners, Younis, in most interests of the Palestinian and Arab resistance factions in exchange for deals, according to which many prisoners were released from within.

However, Israeli intransigence prevented Karim and the old prisoners from being released in exchange deals, and the prison sentence was not even reduced as allowed by Israeli law, saying “the only disappointment was the failure to complete the fourth group of old prisoners in accordance with the agreements between the Palestinian Authority, which is bound by the Oslo Accords, and Israel.”

Tamim Younis – who was over 56 years old – did not hide his pain, hurt and mixed feelings as he calmly recounted the date of next January 6, saying: “Karim did not lose sight of our conscience and was present in all of us and instilled into the conscience and minds of all our children.” Those who did not see him, but were raised on his biography and career, are proud that he is their uncle and maternal uncle.

Yunus praised the Palestinian people and their acceptance of the prisoners’ families and their support, especially the families of the old and sick prisoners, saying that “the prisoners are the heart of the Palestinian cause, the compass of the struggle and the blood of the Palestinian people. The prisoners’ movement and revenge on the families of the prisoners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *