At dawn this morning (10.11.2010), Israeli forces arrested the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Mahmoud Al-Ramahi, from his West Bank home in the City of Al Bira. According to sources, heavily armed forces surrounded Al-Ramahi's home in the pre-dawn hours before storming it and taking him into custody.
The arrest has been widely condemned by both the Reform and Change bloc of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.
The Islamist Deputies of the Council released a statement in which they stressed that Israel's actions against the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people is a testament to their sincerity and that they would continue to represent a thorn in the Occupier's side. The arrest occurs in the context of Israel's continued efforts to combat democracy and reject the outcome of Palestinian parliamentary elections. The statement went on to assert that the Occupation would achieve nothing through its re-arrest of Al-Ramahi which signifies a foolish return to a failed policy, particularly in light of the increase in popular unity and solidarity with the Deputies.
On its part, Hamas has condemned the arrest as a crime and placed full responsibility for Al-Ramahi's life and safety on the Israeli authorities. They also called for an end to the security co-ordination, which provides cover to Israel in its continued perpetration of these crimes.
The Islamist Deputies asserted that the arrest aimed at creating an atmosphere of confusion given the growing momentum for national reconciliation which would mend the rift in the fabric of the nation and unite the Palestinian people in challenging the Occupation's schemes.
They called on the international community to take an official position to limit Israel's impunity in violating the rights of the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people by criminalising the Occupation and thereby force the immediate release of the arrested Deputy as well as stop the deportation order which currently threatens four other Deputies in Jerusalem.
They also called on the Palestinian people to remain steadfast and to unite behind their legitimate representatives who remain undeterred by the Israeli practices which seek to rob them of their rights and continue to perform the office they were appointed to defend.