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Israel: Lawyers passed letters to Islamic Jihad

April 21, 2011 3:35 A.M. (Updated: April 21, 2011 2:09 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Four Palestinian-Israeli lawyers have been arrested over allegations they passed letters from Palestinians in Israeli jails to the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

"An Arab-Israeli lawyer, a resident of Acre, is suspected of having collected letters from Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, who she was authorized to visit, and then giving them to three of her colleagues, who are also Arab-Israelis," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

"They then passed these letters to Islamic Jihad in Gaza using an as intermediary the Mahajat Al-Quds organization, which was designated illegal in 2006," he added.

Israel considers the Islamic Jihad movement a terrorist organization.

"Documents supporting the allegations were found during searches at the homes of the four lawyers, and all are accused of links with a terrorist organization and corruption, for having received large sums of money" in exchange for passing along the letters, Rosenfeld said.

He did not identify the lawyers, but Israel's Haaretz newspaper named the female lawyer from Acre as 42-year-old Suhir Ayub.

Israel's Palestinian community numbers 1.3 million, about 20 percent of the population. It is made up of the 160,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel after its 1948 establishment, and their descendants.
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