Israel on Thursday released senior Hamas leader and Palestinian Parliament Speaker Aziz Dweik after months of detention without charge.
Reports quoting Hamas activists said Dweik was released at the Beit Sira roadblock in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli Prison Service also confirmed his release from the Ofer prison after authorities accepted his lawyer's request not to renew Dweik's administrative detention for a further six month period.
He was arrested by Israeli Defense Forces in January at a roadblock between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah on the assumption that he was involved in the activities of a terrorist organization.
Dweik was appointed Speaker of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Parliament elected in 2006, but the House remained defunct after Hamas expelled forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas from the Gaza Strip the following year.
Administrative detention is a legacy of the pre-1948 British Mandate under which military courts can detain suspects without charge for six months, which can be renewed indefinitely.
by RTT Staff Writer
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