World Bulletin / News Desk
The Israeli army early Wednesday arrested a Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker in a dawn raid in the occupied West Bank, according to eyewitnesses and a Palestinian NGO.
Witnesses said Israeli forces early Wednesday had stormed the home of MP Ahmad Atoun of the Change and Reform electoral list, which is linked to the Gaza-based Hamas movement.
"The Israeli army arrested Atoun after ransacking his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah," one witness said, speaking anonymously due to fears of reprisal.
Atoun’s arrest has since been confirmed by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, an NGO devoted to helping Palestinians arrested by Israel and their families.
The prisoners’ club also reported on Wednesday that Hamas spokesman Fayez Abu Wardeh had likewise been arrested from his West Bank home.
According to the Palestinian Commission for Prisoners’ Affairs (run by the Palestine Liberation Organization), Atoun’s arrest brings the total number of Palestinian lawmakers now in Israeli custody to 13.
On an almost daily basis, Israeli forces carry out nighttime raids in the occupied West Bank that ostensibly target “wanted” Palestinians.
Around 6,500 Palestinians are currently languishing in Israeli jails, according to a January report released by Palestinian prisoner rights groups.
The United Nations' International Labour Organization rarely creates this type of probe, known as a Commission of Inquiry. The last case was launched against Zimbabwe in 2008.
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