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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Military court orders release of some Hamas members on bail

An Israeli military court today ordered the release of eighteen Hamas members on bail. The Hamas members were arrested in July following the kidnapping of IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit by Hamas-affiliated terror groups.

According to Haaretz, those scheduled to be released include Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu A?rafah, Minister for Waqf Affairs Naif Rajoub, and Minister of Local Government Issa Al-Ja?bari, parliament members Mohammed Abu Tir and Ahmed a-Tun from 'East Jerusalem,' and Palestinian Parliament Chairman Aziz Duaik and his deputy, Mahmoud al-Ramahi.

The bail is expected to be NIS 15,000 - NIS 25,000 per person released (approximately NIS 4.40 = $1). The order has been stayed until Thursday at 4:00 PM and the prosecution has appealed.

According to Haaretz, in his decision to free the politicians, the military judge questioned the timing of the arrests, noting that the men were permitted to run for office and serve in the Palestinian government for months before their detentions.

Israel has four members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Cabinet and some 28 Hamas lawmakers in its custody. Four other ministers have been detained and released.


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