RealNews

Israel Releases Senior Hamas Leader

Israel released the top Hamas leader in the West Bank from prison on Thursday after he finished a 28-month sentence for being a member of an outlawed organization. Israel has arrested or killed dozens of senior figures in the militant Islamic group over the last four years of fighting, leaving Sheik Hassan Yussef, 49, as the most senior Hamas figure in the West Bank. Yussef, who was the Hamas spokesman in the West Bank when he was arrested, is a relative moderate in the hardline group, but his release is expected to have little impact on its policies, which are generally made by senior leaders in Gaza and abroad. Clutching a black plastic bag with his belongings, Yussef, walked out of the Ofer military jail to his waiting family Thursday morning. He immediately traveled to nearby Ramallah, where he placed a wreath and offered prayers at the tomb of Yasser Arafat. Full Story

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