Conflict & Justice

Israel arrests at least 25 Hamas members in West Bank


Israeli soldiers patrol the empty streets of Hebron on June 26, 2002, in the West Bank.


Quique Kierszenbaum

Israel arrested at least 25 members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in a raid early Monday morning, according to the BBC

It's reported three members of the Palestinian parliament — Hatem Kafisha, Mohammad Al-Tal and Ahmad Atoun — were also arrested.

Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group, and though the government confirmed the arrests to the Associated Press, they did not give specifics on why the arrests were made. 

"Overnight 25 Palestinians were arrested all over the West Bank," the Israeli army said.

The AP also reported that among those detained was an unidentified man responsible for reconciliation talks between Hamas and its political and secular opponent Fatah.

Hamas denounced the arrests, saying they undermine Palestinian reconciliation efforts between themselves and President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party, according to Haaretz

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the multi-party group Palestinian Liberation Organization, strongly condemned the arrests of Palestinian lawmakers.

“With such arbitrary arrests, Israel has violated international law and the most basic norms of human rights," Ashrawi said in a press release Monday.

"Israel is not above the law. Therefore, we call on all parliaments — Arab, European and international — to hold Israel accountable and to ensure the release of Palestinian lawmakers," he con

Today's raid is not unprecedented. At least, according to the BBC, citing Palestinian reports, Israel holds over 4,500 Palestinians in jails, 12 of them members of the Palestinian parliament.