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Hamas slams detention of West Bank spokesman by Israel

Palestinian resistance faction Hamas has denounced Israel's decision to hold the group's West Bank spokesman without charge for six months.

"The detention of Saed Abu al-Bahaa is part of Israel's vicious war to stop Hamas' popular activities aimed at drumming up support for the Gaza Strip and the Al-Aqsa Mosque," the group said in a Tuesday statement.

On Monday night, Israeli authorities referred Abu al-Bahaa to six months of "administrative detention."

Israel's administrative detention policy allows the authorities to issue detention orders ranging from one to six months in length, which can be extended by up to five years, according to Palestinian NGO Ahrar.

Israeli army troops arrested Abu al-Bahaa on October 28 in a dawn raid on his home in the occupied West Bank, his family said.

Abu al-Bahaa, the NGO said, had played an active role in organizing regular rallies against the Israeli occupation.

He had been especially active amid recent upheaval in the West Bank triggered by the temporary closure by Israel of East Jerusalem's Al-Asqa Mosque compound – Islam's third holiest site – after an extremist rabbi was injured in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.

Israeli forces routinely conduct mass arrest campaigns against West Bank Palestinians on claims the latter are "wanted" by the authorities.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, over 7,000 Palestinians held by Israel continue to languish in prisons across the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

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