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Israeli troops detain Sharawna's brother

March 18, 2013 9:50 A.M. (Updated: March 21, 2013 9:35 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israel detained Jihad Sharawna at dawn Monday, hours after his brother was deported to Gaza following an 8-month hunger strike.

Israeli forces raided the home of 24-year-old Jihad Sharawna in Deir Samit, southwest of Hebron, and detained him, a Ma'an reporter said.

An Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an that one Palestinian was arrested in Deir Samit, and another was detained in Bani Naim, but he could not immediately identify them. He said they were taken for security questioning.

Amjad Najjar, head of the Hebron branch of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, denounced the arrest as an act of revenge to punish the Sharawna family.

Israel exiled Ayman Sharawna, a father of nine, to the Gaza Strip on Sunday in a deal to end a hunger strike he began in July to demand his release.

Sharawna, 36, had signed an agreement to stay in Gaza for 10 years, according to Qadura Fares, head of the PPS.

Fares stressed that Shawarna had signed onto the deal of his own accord. Palestinian authorities object to deportations.

Sharawna had been freed from an Israeli jail as part of a 2011 prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, and then rearrested in Jan. 2012. Israeli prosecutors sought to cancel his amnesty based on secret charges and evidence, without a trial, and force him to serve the remaining 28 years of his previous sentence.

Sharawna was driven into Gaza in an ambulance through the high-security Erez Crossing under cover of darkness.

He was admitted to the main hospital in Gaza City, where he received a hero's welcome -- dozens of supporters greeting him with green and white Hamas flags.

Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas government, praised Sharawna as a "hero prisoner."

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