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Former prisoner returns to Iraq after 35 years

Dec. 12, 2012 7:32 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 9:43 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A former prisoner of Israel who is originally from Iraq has finally been granted Iraqi citizenship, the Husam association for prisoners said Wednesday.

Ali al-Bayati joined the Palestinian resistance in the 1970s. He was arrested with another fighter in 1979 after an operation in Nahariya in northern Israel. Two Palestinian militants were killed by Israeli forces in the operation.

Al-Bayati was sentenced to life but released in 1998 in a prisoner exchange between Hezbollah and Israel.

He returned to Iraq this week for a conference to support Palestinian prisoners and met his sister for the first time in 35 years.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki granted al-Bayati Iraqi citizenship, the Husam center said.
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