Israel releases Hamas MP held for nearly four years

Israel on Thursday released a Hamas lawmaker arrested nearly four years ago following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Gaza militants in a deadly cross-border raid, prison authorities said. Mohammed Abu Teir, a senior Hamas leader known for his bright orange beard dyed with henna, was welcomed by dozens of family members and supporters at his home in annexed east Jerusalem. Abu Teir was jailed after being found guilty of “membership in an illegal organisation and hostile and terrorist activities,” a spokeswoman for the Israeli prison service said.

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