Israel frees Hamas MP, former minister

Photo: Israel frees Hamas MP, former minister / Arab-Israel Relations

Israeli authorities have freed a Hamas lawmaker and a former minister after three months of administrative detention, Anadolu Agency reported.

"The Israeli army has released Legislative Council member Ahmed Totah and former minister Khaled Abu Arafa," the parliamentary bloc of Hamas said in a statement mailed to Anadolu Agency.

It said the two men had spent three months in Israeli administrative detention.

Totah represents Jerusalem in the Palestinian parliament while Abu Arafa had served as minister for Jerusalem affairs in the government formed by Hamas after winning the parliamentary elections in 2006.

Israel has detained scores of Hamas MPs, former ministers and senior members in mass raids across the occupied West Bank following the kidnap and later killing of three Jewish settlers in June.

Under Israeli administrative detention orders, Palestinians can be held without trial for periods between one to six months and the detention can be extended for up to five years.

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