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After 17 years in Israeli prisons, oldest Palestinian prisoner released

The oldest-serving Palestinian prisoner Fouad al-Shobaki was released on Monday from Israeli occupation prisons after serving 17 years behind bars.

Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups said 84-year-old Major General Shobaki was released from Israeli prisons yesterday after completing 17 years behind the bars.


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

He is considered the oldest among over 4500 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons for their resistance to its occupation.

Shobaki is a member of Fatah and a major general in the Palestinian security forces and was responsible for the central military financial administration in the Palestinian security services.

On January 3, 2002, the Israeli occupation army carried out a military operation called Operation Noah’s Ark to commandeer the Karen A ship in the Red Sea, claiming that the ship was carrying military equipment for the Palestinians and was considered the mastermind in financing and smuggling the arms ship.

Shobaki was grabbed by the Israeli occupation forces on March 14, 2006, while held at Jericho Central Prison following an Israeli army raid of the prison and was sentenced to 20 years in prison later reduced to 17 years after he was found guilty by an Israeli military court of allegedly attempting to smuggle arms into the Palestinian territories.

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.

The Israeli occupation authorities also refused the early release of the elderly prisoner 8 months before he completed his unjust sentence despite his deteriorating critical health condition.

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