PA arrests prominent Hamas preacher in Nablus raid

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September 23, 2007 13:37

 
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Palestinian Authority police arrested a prominent Hamas preacher in the West Bank on Sunday as a part of its continuing crackdown on the Islamic group. Sheik Maher Kharas, called the "White Lion" by supporters, is one of Hamas' most prominent members in the West Bank. He was snatched by pro-Fatah Palestinian intelligence officials as he traveled in Nablus, a Hamas spokesman said. The city is considered a stronghold of Hamas, which is locked in a bitter power struggle with rival group Fatah. Security official Abdullah Kumail said Kharas actively worked to incite worshippers, and that he would be briefly detained for questioning. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad warned Islamic preachers in June that he would not tolerate calls for violence delivered from mosque pulpits. Kharas was one of the few preachers to openly defy that warning.

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