10 Hamas members arrested by Israeli army in West Bank
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-19 16:08:16   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts          

    RAMALLAH, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Israeli forces arrested 10 leaders and lawmakers from Islamic Hamas movement in overnight raids in West Bank, sources and witnesses said.

    "The Israeli army stormed the houses of several Hamas leaders in Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem and detained a number of them," the sources said.

    The detainees included Nasser al-Sha'er, a moderate official who served as the deputy of Hamas' prime minister Ismail Haneya inthe tenth Palestinian government that Hamas formed after it won the parliamentary elections in 2006.

    The soldiers broke into our house at night and stayed there for about 45 minutes, said al-Sha'er's wife Huda al-Sha'er, adding "They arrested my husband after intensive telephone calls between the soldiers and their chiefs."

    In all, a professor, a political leader and eight members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) rounded up, according to the sources.

    However, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed with Xinhua on Thursday morning that 10 Hamas members, including four legislators with the PLC, were taken for questioning by the IDF.

    The sources said the arrests "apparently aimed at putting pressure on Hamas" after efforts to free Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held hostage by the Islamic movement, failed.

    Israel accuses Hamas of increasing and hardening its demands to exchange Shalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners hours before the Egyptian mediators were about to broker a prisoner exchange deal.

    After Hamas captured Shalit near Gaza in June 2006, Israel arrested tens of Hamas lawmakers and officials from West Bank and released some of them later.

Editor: Zhang Xiang
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