Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Israel puts two Hamas affiliates in administrative detention

Date: 25 / 03 / 2009 Time: 16:48

Nablus – Ma’an – Two of the nine Hamas members Israeli forces nabbed from the West Bank last week were taken before a military court Wednesday and transferred to administrative detention for a period of six months.

Attorney Faris Abu Al-Hassan said the presence of his clients - Hamas leader Ra’fat Nassif from Tulkarem and Professor at An Najah National University in Nablus Issam Rashed Al-Ashkar - was requested at the Salem Court, an Israeli military court in the north of the West Bank.

The seven other Hamas members taken from their homes last week have not yet been put in front of a judge. They include:

Deputy Prime Minister Nasser As-Sha’er
Hamas political leader Adnan Asfour
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Ayman Daraghmeh
Head of the deputies’ office Mazen Ar-Rimawi from Ramallah
PLC member Azzam Salhab from Hebron
PLC member Nizar Ramadan from Hebron
Khaled Tafesh from Bethlehem

The mass detentions were part of a push to force Hamas’ hand in prisoner swap negotiations with Israel who were pressing for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israel seized dozens of Palestinian lawmakers from the West Bank and Gaza after Palestinian fighters captured Shalit in 2006. Rather than yielding to Israeli pressure, Hamas has not altered its demands that Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, including the lawmakers.

There are more than 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s jails.