Israeli court orders release of Hamas leader

An Israeli military court today ordered the release of the Palestinian deputy prime minister, a defence lawyer said in Jerusalem.

An Israeli military court today ordered the release of the Palestinian deputy prime minister, a defence lawyer said in Jerusalem.

Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Shaer was free and heading back to the West Bank, said the lawyer, Osama al-Saadi.

Shaer, who was arrested on August 19, had been the most senior Hamas official arrested in an Israeli crackdown against the group.

Israel launched the crackdown after Hamas-linked militants captured an Israeli soldier in late June.

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