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Hamas leader is released

JERUSALEM – Israel freed the most senior Hamas leader in its prisons Tuesday after prosecutors failed to persuade a military court to prolong his three-year sentence.

The release of Abdel Aziz Duaik, speaker of the Palestinian Authority parliament, fed speculation that Israel was on the verge of a deal to secure the return of a captured soldier in exchange for hundreds of Hamas prisoners.

Israeli and Hamas officials said they had no information about a deal.


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