Nayef Rajoub. (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi) (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Nayef Rajoub

Nayef Rajoub, a senior member of the Hamas terrorist group and the brother of senior Palestinian Authority (PA) figure Jibril Rajoub, is currently recuperating in a private hospital in Tel Aviv after apparently having undergone spine surgery.

According to the Israel Hayom daily newspaper, Nayef Rajoub, 57, is expected to stay in the Assuta Medical Center’s Ramat Hahayal hospital for the next few days and has been assigned a security detail. The hospital said it could not confirm or deny the reports on Rajoub’s hospitalization, citing privacy concerns.

Rajoub has had multiple run-ins with Israeli security forces. He was first arrested in 1989 and was subsequently convicted of several terrorism-related charges, among them being a member of Hamas. In 1992, he was among the hundreds of Hamas terrorists who were deported to Lebanon after the organization killed an Israeli police officer. While in Lebanon, Rajoub began climbing the rungs of the organization until he attained a leadership position. In 2006, he was elected to the Palestinian parliament as a Hamas candidate and then tapped to serve as religious affairs minister. Several months later, after Hamas captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid, Israel put Rajoub in administrative detention along with other senior Hamas officials. He was released four years later, several months before the prisoner swap that freed Shalit.

In the summer of 2014, following Hamas’s abduction and murder of three Jewish teens, Rajoub was arrested during an Israeli sweep in Judea and Samaria. He was released a year later.

This is not the first time Israeli hospitals have treated or operated on a high-ranking Palestinian official. PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s wife, Amina Abbas, underwent an operation in Assuta Medical Center in June 2014. In February 2015, a Fatah official was treated at the Rabin Medical Center. In 2013, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s granddaughter was treated for a rare disease at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel.


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