Hamas legislator Muhammad Abu Tir was released from an Israeli jail on Thursday, after he had served two prison terms totalling almost nine years.
Abu Tir, who became famous for his red beard, appeared to be only grey in television photographs of his release. He was first arrested together with dozens of Hamas officials shortly after the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006, and then released in June 2010. But he was rearrested shortly afterwards and jailed again after refusing to leave east Jerusalem.
The Interior Ministry had revoked the permanent residency status of Abu Tir and other jailed colleagues. Abu Tir, 64, was voted into the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006.