Hamas: Palestinians will not Hand Militant to Israel
The Palestinian Authority will not hand over to Israel one of the Jewish state's most wanted activist, who was wounded in a gunfight with Israeli soldiers, a senior member of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas said Monday.
"The latest conversations with our brothers in the Palestinian Authority resulted in a confirmation that (Mahmud) Abu Hannud will not be handed over to Israel," Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab told AFP.
Three Israeli soldiers -- believed to have been shot by friendly fire -- died overnight Saturday while trying to arrest Abu Hannud, a Hamas militant wanted for a string of terror attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis.
Israeli officials have called for Abu Hannud to be handed over.
"We must formally ask the Palestinian Authority to hand Abu Hannud over to us, even if we know he will not be extradited," said former chief of staff Amnon Lipkin Shahak.
"But if he is kept in prison that will conform to our agreements with the Palestinians," Lipkin Shahak, also transport and tourism minister, told Israeli radio.
Palestinians intend to try Abu Hannud after their police finish investigating him and once he recovers from injuries suffered during the raid in the northern West Bank town of Assira Shamaliya, north of Nablus.
Hamas claimed victory on Sunday after the raid, which has been severely criticized by the Israeli media.
"What happened was a victory for Hamas and for the Palestinian people. No doubt it was a painful blow to the Israeli army," said Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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