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Former Deputy PM Ash-Sha'er to be released from Israeli prison

Sept. 16, 2009 12:26 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2009 1:25 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma’an - The Israeli army is expected to release Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Naser Ash-Sha’er, an Israeli High Court decided Wednesday.

Ash-Sha’er has been in administrative detention for two consecutive three month periods and was held without charge in the Magido and Negev prison facilities. A court decision said the period of detention would not be renewed, and the lawmaker, popular with both Fatah and Hamas, is expected to be released in the coming days.

On 19 March Israeli forces conducted sweeping raids across the West Bank targeting Hamas leaders and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in a seeming attempt to push forward negotiations over the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Ash-Sha’er was detained along with nine others.

Ash-Sha’er is well known for his continued efforts to achieve Palestinian internal conciliation, he was one of a number of Palestinian figures who carried out campaigns calling for the end of political arrests, the guarantee of public freedoms, and the restoration of human rights in the Palestinian territories.

Ash-Sah’er is also known for his pragmatic views, and has been well received as an envoy representing Palestine to foreign delegations former US president Jimmy Carter. He has been arrested five times since the 2006 elections when he became Minister of Education. Each arrest he was put under administrative detention and held without charge.

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