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Israel military tribunal releases Hamas official, continues to detain others

[JURIST] An Israeli military tribunal has released one of the eight Palestinian Cabinet ministers detained by Israeli forces [JURIST report] last month, though the Israel Defense Forces [official website] have not explained why planning minister Samir Abu Eisheh was released. Three other Hamas ministers were held for further questioning for five to 10 days, and nine other Hamas leaders detained during the West Bank raids were also kept in detention following a Sunday hearing.

The Hamas officials were captured in retaliation for the seizure of an Israeli soldier [JURIST news archive] and have been tried under standard criminal warrants [JURIST report] for membership in or leadership of a terrorist organization, rather than under the much-maligned Unlawful Combatants Law [academic backgrounder; JURIST commentary], which permits the indefinite administrative detention [B'Tselem backgrounder] of accused terrorists. AFP has more.

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