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Maher Younes is welcomed by friends and relatives following his release after 40 years in an Israeli prison for kidnapping and murdering a soldier, in the northern Israeli town of ‘Ara, on January 19, 2023.— AFP 

ARARA: An Arab-Israeli jailed for killing an Israeli soldier was released on Thursday after serving 40 years, officials said, with Israel warning it would not tolerate celebrations glorifying “terror”.

Maher Younis was released from Beersheba prison in southern Israel, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said.

The office of Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said “the murderer terrorist Maher Younis was released from prison this morning”.

Younis was convicted in 1983 of the 1980 murder of Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in the occupied Golan Heights. His death sentence was commuted to a 40-year jail term.

His release comes two weeks after his cousin Karim Younis was freed after serving the same prison time for the same offence.

Karim, who said he was “proud” of his actions, had been welcomed by hundreds of celebrating supporters waving Palestinian flags.

Ben-Gvir´s office said the minister had “instructed police to act firmly and with determination against the phenomena of terror and support for terror we saw the other week in Ara,” during the cousin’s homecoming.

“Waving terror flags and chants that the terrorist is a hero… are illegal measures, so police are instructed to prevent them and if they happen, immediately disperse them,” Ben-Gvir’s office said.

Younis is a member of Israel´s Arab minority, many of whom identify as Palestinians.

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