Naser Najjar /Gulf News leadf A year in the other side of the nation released prisoners from the West Bank are happy that they are free but they miss their home land PHOTO : Naser Najjar Image Credit:

Gaza: The accent of Palestinians working in Gaza city is noticeably different from that of the local residents. The reason these people, who are originally from the West Bank, have all spent time in Israeli jails.

One of them is Yasin Rabee, 41, who spent eight years in captivity and was freed during a prisoner swap on October 18, last year.

Rabee, originally from the West Bank, is now adapting to the life in Gaza. However his problem is he can’t be with his family as they live on the other side of the country.

Rabee was accused by the Israeli court over his involvement in the killing of 13 Israeli soldiers and also of being an active leader in Al Qassam brigades in the West Bank. He was handed a two-year sentence in 2003.

He said, “I thought that I would never be released and have a normal life again. But thank God, the resistance managed to make a unique military action which led to the capture of Gilad Shalit.

As for Israel agreeing to complete the exchange of prisoners, Israel insisted on moving out 370 prisoners from the West Bank to the Gaza strip — most of whom were released in the first part of the agreement.

Abdullah Qandal from Wa’ed Association for prisoners affairs said: “People are so generous and cooperative when it comes to helping those who have been released, especially those who came from the West Bank. Many of them got married in Gaza without a dowry.”

According to Wa’ed Association, 131 out of the 166 released prisoners who are originally from the West Bank got married to women from Gaza.

Recently, Rabee has been spending his days in an office called the West Bank office, taking care of prisoners’ affairs. His aim is to raise money for the children of prisoners who are studying in universities since they cannot afford the fees.