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Middle east

Israeli army arrests head of Palestinian parliament

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-19

Palestinian parliamentary speaker and Hamas member Aziz Dweik has been arrested by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, according to a Hamas source. Israel has so far not commented.

AFP - The Israeli army on Thursday arrested the Palestinian parliamentary speaker, Hamas member Aziz Dweik, in the West Bank, a senior colleague told AFP.

Dweik was detained by soldiers at a checkpoint in Jabaa, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, as he was travelling to Hebron in the southern West Bank, the leader of the cabinet, Bahaa Yussef, told AFP.

Last May, Dweik was held at an Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank along with three other Hamas parliamentarians. One of them, Nizar Ramadan, was detained while the others were allowed to proceed.

Some 20 of Hamas's 74 MPs in the 132-member Palestinian legislative council are currently being held by Israel. Most of them, including two former ministers, have been arrested in the West Bank since October 2010.

Almost all of the officials were among 64 Hamas parliamentarians and government members previously arrested by Israel after the seizure of one of its soldiers, Gild Shalit, in June 2006 near the Islamist-ruled Gaza Strip.

Shalit was freed on October 18 in a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas.

The first stage of the deal in October saw 477 Palestinians including hundreds serving life for killing Israelis, released.
 

Date created : 2012-01-19

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