Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority released from prison Tuesday a senior activist from the Islamic militant group Hamas, the last Hamas member to have been held by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian security freed Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, a leader and occasional spokesman for Hamas, which violently opposes peace with Israel and supports attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians.
"The Palestinian National Authority just released Sheikh Rantissi," Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab told AFP.
"We hope all of our brothers will be released also in the West Bank," added Abu Shanab.
The Palestinian Authority had held some 120 Hamas members before October 12, when Israeli helicopters and naval vessels pounded the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the mob lynching of two Israeli soldiers in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Some 40 of those had been held in the Gaza Strip, including the leader of Hamas's militant wing, Mohammed Deif, who Palestinian officials said escaped from prison earlier this month.
Most of the Hamas militants held in the West Bank were also released in October -- GAZA CITY (AFP).
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