Palestinian parliament speaker arrested
Updated: 2006-08-06 10:40
Israeli forces arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament at his
house in the West Bank early Sunday, and pressed their month long offensive in
Parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik arrives at the Palestinian Legislative
Council in the West Bank town of Ramallah, in this Monday, July 3, 2006
file photo. [AP]|
About 20 Israeli army
vehicles surrounded the house of parliament speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, a member
of Hamas, and took him into custody, the director of the speaker's office said.
Israel claimed that as a Hamas leader, he was a target for arrest.
On June 29, Israeli forces in the West Bank rounded up dozens of Hamas
officials, including eight Cabinet ministers. Only one was released.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas called the arrest "another
crime of piracy by the Israeli occupation against the elected representatives of
our people" and called for international community action to win release for him
and the other arrested officials.
The roundup was part of Israel's campaign against Hamas since a June 25
cross-border raid in which Hamas-linked militants killed two Israeli soldiers
and captured another. Israel has demanded the release of the soldier and an end
to the firing of homemade rockets at Israel by militants.
Seventeen Palestinians have been killed since Israeli troops and tanks moved
back into southern Gaza three days ago. On Saturday airstrikes killed six
Palestinians and tanks rolled to the edge of Rafah, officials said.
The Red Cross requested last week to visit the captured Israeli soldier Gilad
Shalit. A Red Cross official said the request was made in a meeting with
Palestinian factions in Gaza, but was denied.
On Saturday, Hamas said such a visit was "not appropriate at a time when more
than 10,000 Palestinian families are denied to visit their prisoners detained in
Israeli Cabinet minister Ophir Pines said there could be no comparison
between Hamas holding a soldier in a secret hideout without access to
humanitarian organizations and Israel's custody of Palestinians accused of