'Don't know who is behind this.' Abu Tir
Photo: AFP

Abu Tir calls Shin Bet interrogation 'extortion attempt'

Senior Hamas figure who was questioned just hours after his release from prison banned from Jerusalem for 30 days; Israeli authorities 'ignoring law and common sense,' he tells Ynet

Ynet has learned that the Shin Bet security service was involved in Thursday's interrogation of senior Hamas figure Muhammad Abu Tir, who was released from an Israeli prison earlier in the day.


"I don’t know what to say; this (questioning) act reeks of injustice and indicates an attempt to extort," Abu Tir told Ynet after he was interrogated and forbidden from entering Jerusalem for a month.


Abu Tir said the investigators did not accuse him of any wrongdoing. "They only told me that I must remain in my village (Umm Tuba) and keep away from the city (Jerusalem). I have no idea what or who is behind this," he said.


The Hamas figure, who served four years in the Nafha Prison in southern Israel, accused Israeli authorities of "ignoring the law and common sense.


"This is the law of the jungle; I don't know what democracy or rule of law they are speaking of," he said, "They are trying to hurt me for no reason."


Police officials refused to comment on the interrogation of Abu Tir, who until Thursday morning was considered a "bargaining chip" in the negotiations for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.


Abu Tir was summoned for questioning just a few hours after he was released.


Members of the extreme rightist group Eretz Yisrael Shelanu (Our Land of Israel), including Itamar Ben-Gvir, tried to attack Abu Tir as he exited the police station at the Russian Compound in Jerusalem. They shouted, "Terrorist. In any normal country you would have been hanged."


Police officers escorted the Hamas man to a car that was waiting for him.


Sources close to Abu Tir estimated that he was questioned due to comments he made to the media shortly after his release.


Among other things, Abu Tir said his imprisonment was an act of revenge against Hamas after the Islamist group won the elections and was also part of Israel's efforts to prevent Hamas figures from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque in east Jerusalem.


The sources said he was interrogated also due to the fact that during the interviews he presented himself as a member of parliament on behalf of Hamas. Membership in Hamas is forbidden by Israeli law.


Ali Waked contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 05.20.10, 22:38
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