Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Israel releases nine Hamas parliamentarians, kills Palestinian teenager

Israel today released nine Hamas-aligned members of the Palestinian Authority parliament. It's not clear whether this is linked to attempts by Israel to secure the release of their lone prisoner of war. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is in Egypt this week for talks believed to be related to a possible prisoner swap.
RAMALLAH, West Bank — A Hamas legislator in the West Bank says Israel has released nine other Hamas lawmakers from Israeli prisons.

The legislator, Mahmoud Ramahi, says the men had all completed 40-month prison terms and their release Wednesday did not appear to be a gesture from Israel. Israeli officials had no comment.

Israel rounded up more than 30 Hamas lawmakers in 2006 after Hamas militants captured an Israeli soldier, apparently as bargaining chips in efforts to free the soldier. He is still being held in Gaza.

Ramahi says 23 of Hamas' 74 elected lawmakers remain in Israeli prisons.

Hamas won control of the Palestinian parliament in 2006. The next year, Hamas overran Gaza, leaving the Palestinians with rival governments in Gaza and the West Bank.

from AP
Meanwhile a Palestinian teenager was killed after apparently throwing a petrol bomb - an act the Israelis describe as terrorism, despite the fact that it was an attack on an illegal settlement and as such was an entirely legitimate act.

al-Qassam brigades resistance fighters killed by Israeli fire

Israeli air strikes and shelling killed two Hamas fighters today
Moawiya Hassanein, the head of Gaza's emergency services, said on Tuesday "the two men were killed near Jabaliya by shells" fired from the Israeli side of the border.
more at Al Jazeera