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Hamas Member Charged in Attempt to Kidnap an Israeli Knesset Member

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Israeli military officials have charged a senior member of the Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement in connection with an alleged conspiracy to kidnap a Knesset member.

According to an indictment filed Wednesday against one of the conspirators, a Hamas terrorist unit planned to kidnap a Knesset member and hold him hostage until Israel released Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin.

Yassin was arrested in April 1989 and is serving a life sentence for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of two Israeli soldiers several years ago.

The charge sheet against Ibrahim Taher Nawahadf did not identify any Knesset member, nor did it say whether a specific person had been targeted for abduction.

The military prosecution filed the indictment against Nawahadf in the West Bank village of Yamoun, in the Samaria region. Nawahadf, who is deputy commander of Hamas in the region, was also charged with a series of terrorist attacks.

Nawahadf allegedly became involved with Hamas in October 1990, when Muslim worshippers were shot by border police on the Temple Mount.

He subsequently became second in command to Zaher Jabarin, the leader of Hamas in the Samaria region.

Nawahadf was allegedly in charge of the unit that killed a border policeman, Nissim Toledano, as well as two other policemen. Those killings led to the deportation to Lebanon last December of 415 Hamas activists and other fundamentalists.

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