Israel has released six Hamas cabinet ministers jailed after the terror group kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in the Gaza Strip in 2006, defense officials said Monday.
Defense officials said the ministers had just completed their prison terms and their release was not connected to a prisoner exchange deal of the Schalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.
The officials spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak with the media.
Forty-five Hamas lawmakers arrested in the West Bank following Schalit's capture were convicted of belonging to an illegal organization.
Hamas said 15 of those arrested remain in prison.