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Israel releases 9 Hamas lawmakers

RIA Novosti

20:36 02/09/2009 GAZA, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - Israeli authorities released on Wednesday nine Hamas lawmakers, a Hamas legislator in the West Bank said.

Mahmoud Ramahi said the Palestinian opposition lawmakers had served their full terms of 40 months, so their release could not be considered a "goodwill gesture" on the part of Israel.

Israeli governmental forces arrested more than 30 Hamas lawmakers in 2006, after an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was captured by Palestinian militants.

Two months ago, Tel Aviv agreed to release the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Abdel Aziz Duwaik. Twenty-three Hamas parliamentary members remain in Israeli jails, Ramahi said.

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