[QODLink]
Middle East
Israel frees senior Hamas official
Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, was held without charge since January.
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2012 03:55
Aziz Dweik have been arrested at a checkpoint near Ramallah in January [AFP]

Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas leader and the speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, has been released by Israel after months of detention without charge.

"Dr Aziz Dweik was released at the Beit Sira roadblock," in the occupied West Bank, the head of his office, Bahaa Yusef, told AFP on Thursday.

Israel Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed: "Mr Dweik has been released from Ofer prison."

Dweik's lawyer, Fadi Qawasmeh, said Israel had accepted his request not to renew his client's administrative detention for a further six months.

The Israeli army arrested Dweik on January 19 at a roadblock between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah.

It said his detention without charge was necessary because of his "presumed involvement in the activities of a terrorist organisation."

Dweik was appointed speaker of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian parliament elected in 2006 but the legislature has been effectively sidelined since Hamas expelled forces loyal to president Mahmud Abbas from the Gaza Strip
the following year.

Administrative detention is a procedure dating back to the pre-1948 British Mandate under which military courts can hold suspects without charge for periods of up to six months, which can be renewed indefinitely.

196

Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list