Israel jails Palestinian parliament speaker


Hamas called on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to end all dialogue with Israel after Israel arrested Aziz Dweik, Palestinian parliament speaker and a member of Hamas. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)
January 24, 2012

Israeli authorities on Tuesday ordered the speaker of the Palestinian parliament jailed for six months without trial, in the latest of several detentions in recent days of lawmakers from the militant Islamic group Hamas.

Aziz Dweik, a senior Hamas official, was arrested at an army checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah last Thursday, and on Tuesday he was issued a six-month “administrative detention” order on unspecified security grounds, according to his attorney.

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli troops arrested another Hamas legislator, Abdel Jaber Fukaha, at his home in Ramallah.

On Monday, two Hamas lawmakers, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafa, were arrested in East Jerusalem at a compound of the International Committee of the Red Cross, where they had taken refuge a year and a half ago after Israel revoked their residence in the city. Another lawmaker, Khaled Tafesh, was arrested Friday at his home near Bethlehem.

Hamas accused Israel of trying to undermine a reconciliation agreement with the rival Palestinian faction Fatah that includes a resumption of parliamentary sessions. The Palestinian legislature has been inactive since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a brief civil war with Fatah.

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