Israel releases oldest Palestinian prisoner after 17-year sentence

AFP , Monday 13 Mar 2023

The oldest Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail was released on Monday after serving a 17-year sentence over accusations of arms smuggling, an advocacy group and his son said.

Fuad Shubaki
Fuad Shubaki, 83, the oldest Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail was released on Monday after serving a 17-year sentence. Photo courtesy of Palestinian news agency WAFA


Fuad Shubaki, 83, was released from Ashkelon prison and is "on his way to Ramallah" in the occupied West Bank, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoner's Club said, which was confirmed by Shubaki's son Hazem.

Shubaki, whose name was linked to the Karine A ship hijacked by Israeli units in the Red Sea on January 3, 2002, was born on March 12, 1940, in Gaza, in al-Tuffah neighborhood.

He was accused of attempting to smuggle weapons from Iran to the coastal enclave of the Gaza aboard the Karine A ship, which was seized by Israel in the Red Sea.

Shubaki is considered the eldest among the more than 4500 Palestinian freedom fighters incarcerated in Israel for their resistance of its occupation.

He is also a senior member of of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' movement Fatah and a major general in the Palestinian security forces.

Israel claims Shubaki was the mastermind in financing and smuggling the arms ship.

In 2002, he was detained by the Palestinian authorities, and held in the West Bank town of Jericho under US and British supervision.

In 2006, the prison was stormed by Israeli forces and Shubaki was taken to Israel were he was tried in a military court.

Shubaki was sentenced to 20 years in jail, which was later reduced to 17 years.

He suffers from many health problems, in his eyes, stomach, heart, and high blood pressure and recently had to rely on fellow inmates to meet his physical needs.

His wife died in 2011 and he was forbidden to say goodbye to her. He has six children and nine grandchildren, most of whom he does not know.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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