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Israel arrests 3 Palestinian police who served jail

Three Palestinian police officers returning to work after finishing prison terms are re-arrested by Israeli forces

AFP , Wednesday 22 May 2013
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Israel arrested three Palestinian police officers on Wednesday after they returned to duty having served jail terms in Palestinian prisons for shooting dead a Jewish settler, a Palestinian official said.

"Israel arrested three elements of the national security who had been detained by the Palestinian Authority in Al-Jneid prison in Nablus for their unintentional killing of a settler two years ago," the Palestinian official told AFP.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

The men had served a year in jail for the April 2011 shooting, and had returned to their police jobs 10 days ago after being freed last month, the Palestinian official said.

The 2011 attack killed one Israeli and wounded four near Joseph's Tomb, a flashpoint site venerated by Jews but under Palestinian control and off-limits to Israelis except on escorted trips organised by the army.

Palestinian security forces shot at an Israeli vehicle that had entered the Palestinian-controlled area without permission, a statement from the Israeli military said at the time.

The casualties were a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who had gone to pray at the tomb on the last full day of the Passover holiday.

Israeli media named the man killed in the incident as Jerusalem resident Ben-Yosef Livnat, a 24-year-old father of four who was the nephew of hawkish culture minister Limor Livnat.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews frequently enter the shrine despite a military ban and the threat of attacks and prosecution for those attempting to do so without prior permission.

In 2003, seven Jews were injured in a pre-dawn attack near the tomb as they travelled in a convoy.

Many Jews believe the tomb to be the final resting place of the biblical Joseph, while Muslims believe that an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Yussef (Joseph) Dawiqat was buried there two centuries ago.

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