Israeli Forces Seize Hamas MP in West Bank

Israeli soldiers have arrested a lawmaker of the Islamic Hamas movement after raiding his home in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in the southern West Bank.

Hamas MP Hatem Qafaish was arrested early on Monday for unknown reasons, AFP quoted Omar Abdelrazaq, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, as saying.

There was no immediate comment on the arrest from the Israeli Army.

Qafaish has been detained on a number of occasions in the past, including in 2006 when Israel arrested scores of Hamas officials after its soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by resistance fighters in Gaza.

More than 10 members of the Palestinian National Council remain in jail, including two from the Western-backed Fatah party and one from the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Hamas has demanded the release of around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including senior resistance leaders, in exchange for Shalit who is being held in Gaza.

Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestine’s 2006 parliamentary elections, but had to limit its rule to the Gaza Strip following a coup attempt by Fatah, which established its own government in Ramallah.

The Palestinian legislative body has only met on a few occasions under Israeli restrictions for Hamas representatives and due to the divisions between the major rival parties of Hamas and Fatah.

(Press TV)

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