Israel arrests Palestinian lawmaker

Thursday, 13 April, 2017 - 13:00

Israel has arrested a Palestinian lawmaker over Hamas “activities,” an NGO and officials said Wednesday, bringing to 13 the number of Palestinian deputies detained by the Zionist state.

Ahmad Atoun, a Palestinian lawmaker from occupied Jerusalem since 1996 affiliated with Hamas, was arrested at dawn, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club NGO.

Banned from occupied Jerusalem by Israel, he has recently lived in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

His arrest brings to 13 the number of Palestinian parliament members detained by Israel.

The parliament, or Palestinian Legislative Council, includes 132 members, though it has not sat since 2007, when Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority clashed in a near-civil war over control of the Gaza Strip.

Beyond Atoun, 14 other Palestinians were also arrested, the NGO said, including Fayez Abu Warda, a Hamas spokesman in the West Bank.

Questioned about Atoun and Warda, Israeli authorities confirmed two people were arrested over “Hamas activities” in the Ramallah area and Hebron, but did not provide further details.