Israeli occupation forces have arrested five senior Hamas activists in Hebron as part of an arrest campaign which has seen another five men taken into detention across the occupied West Bank.
Those detained include a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mohamed Jamal Al-Natsha. Along with Hamas members Abdul-Khaleq al-Natsha, Mohamed Shawer, Amjad al-Hamouri and Jawad al-Jaabari, Mr Al-Natsha was taken to an unknown destination.
Near Nablus, meanwhile, the Israelis entered the village of Barqa at midnight to arrest Mohamed abu-Lail, Ammar Salah, Mohamed abu-Omar and his cousin Ghaith abu-Omar. Local sources said that the soldiers searched their houses during the arrests, causing a great deal of damage. No reason has been given for the detentions. Saddam Sadouq was also taken from his home at night as Israeli soldiers raided Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.
The director of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre (PPC), Reyad al-Ashqar, condemned the Israelis’ arrest of senior Hamas members. He said that this is an attempt to undermine Palestinian reconciliation.
The head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Ahmed Bahr, also condemned the Israeli detention of an elected parliamentarian and linked it to the reconciliation process. “This parliamentarian has an effective public role in the West Bank and can push reconciliation efforts forward,” he said.
At the same time, Dr Bahr welcome the release of Hamas parliamentarian Nayef al-Rajoub after serving 28 months in “administrative detention” in an Israeli jail. He called for the release of all prisoners being held without charge or trial, including parliamentarians and ministers; 15 are being held by the Israeli occupation authorities.