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Israel frees former minister after 2 years

June 6, 2013 6:53 P.M. (Updated: June 7, 2013 4:48 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Israel on Thursday released former Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Wasfi Qabaha, ending his two-year detention without charge or trial.

Previous to the two years in administrative detention, Qabaha had been detained by Israel nine times and spent 13 years in jail.

Qabaha was released Thursday at Jubara checkpoint, northwest of Nablus, where he immediately collapsed, sustaining severe bruising. He was taken to hospital in Tulkarem and underwent minor surgery.

At the checkpoint, Qabaha told Ma'an the Israeli Prison Service mistreated Palestinian and Arab detainees and had worsened oppressive measures since Jordanian prisoners staged a hunger strike.

He highlighted the plight of Muaatasim Raddad, a prisoner from Tulkarem, who he said was in a very dangerous health condition.

The main message prisoners would like to convey to the Palestinian people concerns the importance of unity and reconciliation in the face of Israeli occupation, the former minister added.

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