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Israel frees Hamas parliament speaker after 3 years in jail

© blog.case.eduIsrael frees Hamas parliament speaker after 3 years in jail
Israel frees Hamas parliament speaker after 3 years in jail - Sputnik International
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Israel released on Tuesday the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Abdel Aziz Duwaik, paving the way for a possible release of a soldier held by Gaza militants, local media said.

GAZA, June 23 (RIA Novosti) - Israel released on Tuesday the Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Abdel Aziz Duwaik, paving the way for a possible release of a soldier held by Gaza militants, local media said.

Duwaik and several Hamas politicians were arrested by Israeli troops in Ramallah in 2006 shortly after Gilad Shalit, a 22-year-old Israeli conscript, was seized by militants from Gaza in a cross-border raid.

Duwaik was one of the highest-ranking politicians among the 10,000 Palestinians held by Israel.

An Israeli military court decided to release him last week. The official was to return home to Ramallah later on Tuesday.

Ynetnews.com quoted Hamas as saying: "The arrest was illegal from the onset, and release is a matter of the detainment period ending."

Hamas has demanded the release of at least 450 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert intensified efforts to secure the release of Shalit before his term in office ended. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently re-examining the Shalit case.

 

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