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Israeli detention campaign against Hamas activists continues

Israel has detained another 17 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, all of them Hamas activists. One, Raafat Nasif, aged 48, is a prominent leader of the movement and was released from an Israeli jail just two months ago. He has spent a total of 12 years in Israeli prisons.

Witnesses said that more than 25 military vehicles swept into Tulkarem to arrest Nasif. They used explosives to blow down the door of his home and used dogs to search it. Others arrested in Tulkarem were Ammar Badawi, Mosab al-Ashqar, Abdullah al-Khalil and Ammar Omeer. The first three are members of the Islamic Bloc, the student wing of Hamas.


In Nablus the Israeli occupation forces detained Mothana Ishtea, Osama Yamen and Waleed Aseeda, also members of the Islamic Bloc, along with Mosa Yamen. Further south, in the Hebron neighbourhood of Beit-Amer, local sources said that the Israelis broke into Tariq Maria's house and searched it, damaging personal property in the process, before arresting the 19 year old.

Other men arrested in this latest stage of the campaign against Hamas activists were Mohamed Hijazi, 19, and Monjed abu-Akar, 23, both from Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem; and Rajab Moteer, his brother Mohamed, former prisoner Mo'az Moteer and his cousin Motasem from Kalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem.

Hamas has accused the Israelis of trying to sabotage the Palestinian reconciliation process by these arrests. A spokesman for the Israeli Army told MEMO, however, that the arrests are "routine" in the "fight against Palestinian terrorists".

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