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Israel arrests Hamas lawmaker in West Bank

AFP , Thursday 2 Jun 2011
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The Israeli army overnight arrested a Hamas lawmaker in the northern West Bank, along with an ex-Fatah official and two other Hamas members, Palestinian security sources said.

The Hamas lawmaker was named as Abdel Rahman Zaidan, and Palestinian security sources said Israeli forces had also arrested former Fatah official Hussam Hader in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli military confirmed the arrest of Zaidan but gave no details on why he had been detained.

A military spokesman said the army arrested eight Palestinians in the West Bank overnight, including three in Nablus, but could not confirm they had detained Hader or the two other Hamas members.

The Israeli military has detained at least 11 Hamas politicians in the West Bank since last October.

Many of those it has detained were among a total of 64 Hamas members it rounded up in 2006, after Gaza militants seized Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Shalit remains captive somewhere in Gaza, and Hamas has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for freeing him.

Talks on Shalit's release, mediated by Egypt and Germany, ground to a halt in late 2009. The two sides blame each other for failing to clinch an exchange deal.

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