An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the release of 18 imprisoned Hamas lawmakers, including three Cabinet ministers, and raised questions about the army's case. The men ordered released will remain behind bars for at least two more days pending an appeal by prosecutors. The court is scheduled to issue a final ruling on Thursday, the AP reported.
Still, the order was a rare setback for military prosecutors, whose arguments are usually upheld by the court.
The Israeli army abducted more than two dozen Hamas lawmakers after Palestinian activists in Gaza Strip linked to Hamas attacked a military post in June and captured an Israeli soldier.
In his decision, the military judge questioned the timing of the kidnappings, noting that the men were permitted to run for office and serve in the Palestinian government for months before their detentions. He said the politicians should be released on bail while their trials continue. A decision on the prosecution appeal is expected Thursday.