Palestinian sources reported that two of the elected legislators, imprisoned by Israel, were released on Thursday evening, after being detained under administrative detention without charges since 2010.The Palestinian Information Center reported that legislators Khalil Ar-Raba’ey, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and Nasser Abdul-Jawad from the central West Bank city of Salfit, were released Thursday, one day before their scheduled release.
They were taken by army jeeps to the Sham’a roadblock, near Hebron, before they were let go.
Dozens of residents, and several elected legislators and officials, welcomed the two legislators while chanting for liberty and for Palestine, carrying Palestinian flags.
Legislator Ar-Raba’ey told the Palestinian Information Center that he and Abdul-Jawad were only informed that they will be released just a few hours before their actual release, adding that they were previously informed that their administration detention will be renewed.
The two legislators were kidnapped in late 2010, and were held under administrative detention orders, renewed three times, six months each time without any charges; they were held at the Negev Detention Camp.
The two legislators are members of the Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc of the Hamas movement.
In 2006, Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections, but the legislative council never had the chance to fully function after being shunned by Israel and the United States, and after Israeli kidnapped and imprisoned most of the democratically-elected legislators.