Raef Najoub
Raef Najoub Photo by AP
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A member of the Palestinian parliament was released from an Israeli jail yesterday and returned to his home in the West Bank village of Dura, south of Hebron, in the afternoon. Sheikh Naef Rajoub, brother of Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, spent four years in prison after being apprehended by Israeli forces following the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilat Shalit.

Israel viewed him as a possible bargaining chip for Shalit's release, but when the period of detention ordered by an Israeli military court ended, security officials were obliged to release him. The sheikh told journalists that he is calling for Palestinian unity.

He also noted that Mahmoud Abbas is not only the head of Fatah but of the entire Palestinian people. He also said Abbas should visit Gaza and that Hamas would participate in Palestinian elections if the Palestinian Authority holds them.