Egypt frees Hezbollah cell members to Gaza

May 1, 2011 at 7:10 AM
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GAZA, May 1 (UPI) -- Two Palestinian members of a Hezbollah cell arrived in Gaza this weekend following their release by Egyptian authorities.

Mohammed Ramadan, 17, and Nidal Fathi Juda, 23, were arrested three years ago along with other cell members for terror activities. The two completed their jail sentences and applied to the Egyptian Higher Military Council for their freedom, Ramadan told al-Arabiya.

Ramadan said Egypt's attorney general agreed to the release after the two waged a one-week hunger strike. They were then moved to a prison in Sinai for two months before their release.

"After a decision was made to release us, we were held temporarily at al-Qanatir prison for two months waiting for the situation in northern Sinai to settle down. Three days ago, we were moved to the Rafah crossing and were asked to choose whether we prefer to go to Gaza or to Malaysia to avoid Israeli threats. We decided to go to Gaza so we can die in our homeland," Ramadan told al-Arabiya.

He said four other cell members -- Nasser Jibreel, Adel Abu Amra, Nasser Abu Amra and Nimir Taweel -- are serving sentences of 10 to 15 years and Egyptian lawyers were trying to secure their release.

During the anti-government demonstrations in Egypt earlier this year and the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak and his government, several cell members were among hundreds of inmates who escaped from Egyptian prisons, including Sami Shihab, the leader of the Hezbollah cell, the network said.

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