Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Israel frees Palestinian speaker after year behind bars


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Tuesday released the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, Aziz Duweik, following a year in administrative detention.

The Ahrar Center for Prisoners and Human Rights Studies said that Duweik, 67, was released from the Ofer prison near Ramallah after paying a fine of 6,000 shekels ($1,565).

Duweik, who is a member of Hamas, was detained from his home in Hebron during a massive arrest campaign in June 2014, known as "Operation Brother's Keeper," which was carried out in search of three missing teenage settlers. During the campaign, which lasted until June 30 when their bodies were found, Israel arrested hundreds of Palestinians, most of them members of Hamas, including leaders and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Palestine's parliament. Commentators suggested that Israel's real motive had been to drive a wedge between Hamas and Fatah, which earlier that month formed a national unity government.

More than 14 court sessions were held for Duweik during his year-long detention, the Ahrar Center said. Elected Speaker of the PLC in 2006, Duweik had previously been arrested by Israel forces three separate times between 2006 and 2014. more

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