Israel’s first Palestinian prisoner dies at age of 85

By , in World on .

RAMALLAH, March 23 — The first Palestinian to enter an Israeli prison died at the age of 85 on Monday, half a century after his release, reported Anadolu Agency.

Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society issued a joint message of condolence for Mahmoud Bekir Hejazi.

“Hejazi, a symbol of sacrifice, left behind an important struggle and national heritage,” it said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also sent a message of condolence for Hejazi, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported.

Hejazi will be buried Tuesday with a military funeral, which Abbas will also attend.


Born in 1936 in Jerusalem, Hejazi was arrested by Israeli forces after an operation in the occupied town of Beit Jibrin in January 1965.

The first Palestinian to enter an Israeli prison, he was sentenced to death, but the execution did not take place over objections from the international community.

Freed by a 1971 swap deal between the Fatah Movement and Israel, Hejazi lived in Lebanon until 1994 before returning to Ramallah in the West Bank.

More than a million Palestinians have been thrown into Israeli prisons since 1965, according to figures from the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society.


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