Israel Arrests Hamas operatives in West Bank Raids | Hamas News
Israeli forces arrested 25 Palestinians in nighttime raids across the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said on Monday.
Among the detainees were prominent members of the Hamas movement and former prisoner Mona Qa’dan.
Speaking to Anadolu News Agency, Mahmoud Qa’dan, Mona’s brother, said that Israeli forces attacked her sister’s house at dawn in the town of Arraba and took her into custody in view.
“Mona has already been arrested five times and was last released in 2016 after 40 months of detention in occupied prisons,” Mahmoud said.
A local source in Hebron, who spoke to Anadolu on condition of anonymity, said Hamas operative Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi and Anas Rasras were among those arrested in the raids. .
A young woman, Shams Mashaqi, was also arrested in her village of Yaseed near Nablus.
Most of the arrests took place in the cities of Hebron, Bethlehem, Jenin, Ramallah, Al-Bireh and occupied East Jerusalem, the PPS said in a statement.
Hamas has described the arrests of some of its leaders and members in recent weeks as “an attempt to disrupt and stop the conduct of the elections.”
Palestinians will vote in a legislative election on May 22. At least three members of Hamas’ candidate slate have been arrested in recent weeks.
According to Fuad al-Khuffash, a Palestinian human rights researcher and expert on prisoners’ affairs, the arrest of Hamas members and supporters in the run-up to the vote was an attempt to damage the faction’s electoral chances.
“Prior to the 2006 elections, Israel arrested over 560 Hamas leaders and operatives,” he said.
Al-Khuffash said Israel’s tactics of arresting these people are aimed at “clearing the arena of influential people” who can determine the direction of the elections and limit Hamas’ choice of who can run.
A member of Hamas’s political bureau, Mousa Dudin, said in a statement that the Israeli arrests reflect “its criminal and terrorist identity by besieging our people and its democratic options.”
“Since the start of the elections, threats of Israeli occupation against the leaders and sons of the Hamas movement have not ceased,” he said.
Dudin called on the international community to “stand up to the Zionist arrogance which expresses a fascism unparalleled in the world, by stealing the will of the people”.
“We pay tribute to the members of the movement, who have sworn to continue on the path of national cohesion,” he added.
It is estimated that 4,450 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 37 women, around 140 minors and 440 administrative detainees.
Head of the Diaspora Office
Meanwhile, former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has been elected to head the group’s diaspora bureau, a spokesperson said on Monday.
Meshaal, 64, who survived an Israeli assassination attempt in 1997, was head of the political bureau until 2017, when he was replaced by Ismail Haniyeh, 59, based in the Gaza Strip. .
Although Hamas’s power base is in Gaza, which it has controlled since 2007, it also has supporters among refugees and others in the Middle East and elsewhere. In 2012, Meshaal angered a close Hamas ally, Syria, when he left Damascus over President Bashar al-Assad’s war against Iranian-backed rebels.
Akram Atallah, a Palestinian analyst, said the move was unlikely to bring about a significant change in Hamas’ stance as Meshaal was broadly aligned with Haniyeh, both in terms of a more pragmatic approach to Arab and Western countries. , and in their attitude towards the Middle East. Eastern conflict.
“When it comes to Hamas’s policy towards Israel, I don’t see any extremists or moderates. I think there is an agreement on it, ”Atallah said.