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Israeli court sentences Hamas lawmakers to prison
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21:35, December 22, 2008

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An Israeli military court on Monday sentenced several Hamas lawmakers to prison, Hamas' parliamentary bloc said.

Six West Bank-based members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) were sentenced to imprisonment from 36 to 40 months period, the Hamas' Change and Reform bloc said in a statement sentto media.

Israel rounded up some 40 Hamas lawmakers from West Bank in 2006 in response to the capturing of an Israeli soldier by Hamas fighters in Gaza Strip.

Aziz al-Dewik, the PLC Speaker, was among the detainees. Last week, the Israeli military court sentenced him for three years in prison.

Hamas, which won the parliamentary elections in January 2006, plans to appoint al-Dewik as a successor of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas when his term as a president ends in January.

According to the basic Palestinian law, al-Dewik should be the president for 60 days in which elections must be held. But Abbas, who is locked in a power struggle with Hamas, says he will stay for an additional year to launch the presidential elections when the term of the PLC ends in 2010.

Source: Xinhua



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