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25 Palestinians, including Hamas MPs nabbed in West Bank

IDF forces conduct overnight sweep in major Palestinian cities; nine Hamas legislators taken in for questioning

Elior Levy
Published: 02.04.13, 08:55 / Israel News

Palestinian sources reported Monday that Israeli security forces conducted an overnight sweep in the West Bank, arresting 25 Palestinians including nine senior members of Hamas.

 

IDF forces arrested nine of the Islamist movement's members in Nablus and two of its parliament members – Hatem Qafisheh and Mohammed al-Tal in Hebron.

 

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Hamas MP Ahmed Atun was detained in Ramallah and another MP was arrested in the West Bank city of Qalqilya.

 

All of the men were taken in for questioning by security forces.

 

Such arrests are routine, for the most part, but usually exclude Hamas legislators. Several of the MPs arrested overnight were held in Israel in the past.

 

Palestinian human rights groups were quick to condemn the arrests, saying their sole purpose was to destabilize the Palestinian factions' reconciliation efforts.

 

They called on the Palestinian Authority to thwart such arrest in the future.

 

Sources in the IDF and the Shin Bet said that Hamas has been attempting to rebuild its infrastructure in the West Bank, which is Fatah-dominated, as means of leveraging the advantages the terror group alleges to have gained over Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.

 

The sweep was conducted by forces with the IDF's Judea and Samaria Brigade and according to the IDF, the troops met no resistance by those wanted for questioning.

 

Palestinians residing in some of the neighborhoods, however, stoned the troops, who responded by using crowd-control measures.

 

A wanted terrorist was also arrested during the sweep, carrying a weapon believed to have been used in several shooting attacks that have taken place over the past few weeks.

 

 

You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: paldesk@gmail.com  

 

Yoav Zitun contributed to this report

 

 

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