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Israel releases Palestinian after 25 years in jail

Jan. 21, 2013 10:00 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 23, 2013 4:35 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities on Sunday released one of the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners in their custody, Jihad al-Obaidi.

During 25 years in Israeli jail, al-Obaidi, from Jerusalem, got to know many fellow inmates.

In the Gaza Strip, released prisoners gathered on Sunday to celebrate his release. Many had served time with al-Obaidi before they were deported to Gaza under agreements with Israel.

Samir Atiyeh, whose family live in Syria, told Ma'an that while in jail with al-Obaidi, the Jerusalemite's family took him under their wing.

While his family could not visit from Syria, the al-Obaidis came regularly and brought him gifts and necessities. After he was deported, Atiyeh named his eldest son Jihad after al-Obaidi.

The prisoners in Gaza congratulated al-Obaidi on his release over Skype on Sunday.

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