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Israeli military court reverses decision freeing Palestinian lawmakers

[JURIST] An Israel Defense Forces [official website] court denied bail Monday to 18 Palestinian lawmakers on trial for charges of membership in a terrorist organization [JURIST report]. The ruling, postponed from last week, reverses an earlier military court decision that prosecutors appealed [JURIST reports]. In his opinion, Judge Col. Shaul Gorden wrote that the court had "no choice" but to order the defendants' continued detention because of their senior positions in the Hamas movement [CFR backgrounder], which Israel considers a terrorist group, even if they were not directly involved in terrorist activities and despite their status as democratically elected Palestinian officials.

The defendants, who were who were detained [JURIST report] following the Hamas capture of Israeli Cpl. Gilad Shalit [Wikipedia backgrounder] in Gaza in June, include Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik [official profile, in Arabic; JMCC profile] and a number of Palestinian cabinet members. Dweik criticized today's decision as "political." Haaretz has more. The Jerusalem Post has additional coverage.

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