Hamas security detains father of Mohammed El-Dura

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GAZA CITY: Hamas security briefly detained on Saturday the father of iconic Palestinian boy Mohammed El-Dura, who became a national symbol when he was killed during intense fighting in Gaza seven years ago.

Jamal Al-Dura, 44, said he was held for four hours in a central Gaza police station and interrogated for allegedly shooting in the air during a family wedding. Al-Dura, a supporter of the moderate Fatah movement, denied the accusations and said he can t carry guns because of his medical condition.

On Sept. 30, 2000, Al-Dura and his son, Mohammed, 12, were caught in a furious exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. A French TV crew captured the two cowering, terrified, behind a wall, and the boy falling after he was fatally shot. The father was badly injured.

The scene was broadcast around the world and became a symbol of the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

At the police station, Hamas asked Al-Dura to sign a piece of paper to pledge he will abide by the law, Al-Dura said. He refused.

“I am a law abiding citizen, Al-Dura said. “I am a respected man around the world and here. This is an affront to me and to them, Al-Dura said in reference to Hamas.

Hamas security said Al-Dura was called in for questioning on a firing incident and was let go.

Hamas is in control of Gaza after it wrested control of Gaza from Fatah-allied forces during fighting in June.

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