Israel Releases Hamas ‘Parliament’ Speaker
Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dweik released after year behind bars; was arrested following kidnap-murder of Israeli teens.
Israel released Tuesday a senior Hamas terrorist and speaker of the defunct Palestinian Authority parliament, according to AFP, after almost a year in prison following an army crackdown over the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers.
Aziz Dweik, speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was arrested on June 16, 2014 as Israel staged a massive manhunt for three teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’er, who were snatched from a road in Gush Etzion by Hamas terrorists.
During the search, which lasted until June 30 when their bodies were found, Israel arrested hundreds of terror suspects, most of them members of Hamas.
The crackdown – the biggest in a decade – was followed by a surge of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the Islamist movement’s stronghold, which ultimately led to a 50-day war in and around the coastal enclave, the third in six years.
That war led to the discovery by Israel of a vast network of terror tunnels infiltrating into Israel, which were neutralized, preventing a major attack against Israeli civilians along the border with Gaza.
According the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, 12 of the 130 MPs in the PLC are being held by Israel, including Dweik.
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