The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Israel for a campaign of arrests carried out last week in the West Bank in which three members of the Palestinian parliament were arrested.
In a statement, Nazih El Naggary, deputy spokesperson for the ministry, called on Israel “to immediately release the detained parliamentarians”. He also “condemned the policy of administrative detention practised by Israel against the Palestinian people”.
El Naggary rejected what he called “a series of arbitrary measures” Israel has used against the Palestinian people. He pointed to the building of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the blocking of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, and “the arrest of elected representatives”.
On 4 February the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr Aziz Duwaik, also condemned Israel for arresting “dozens of parliamentarians and leaders” of Hamas. The three parliamentarians are Ahmed Attoun , Hatem Qafisha, and Mohamed Ismail. These three join nine other Hamas parliamentarians being held by Israel, according to AFP.
Duweik believes that the arrests campaign “aims to disrupt the internal Palestinian reconciliation efforts”.
The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) confirmed that “25 Palestinians were arrested all over the West Bank”, according to AFP.
The arrests come days after the IDF announced that it had “uncovered Hamas terror assets”, which included “20 terrorists affiliated with Hamas”. The IDF claimed that the group was planning to secure the release of Hamas prisoners by taking a soldier hostage.