Friday, December 3, 2010

Troops Kidnap Elected Legislator In Hebron

Wednesday December 01, 2010 12:01 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at dawn, legislator Sheikh Khalil Nayef Rajoub, after breaking into his home and searching it.
Legislator Khalil Nayef Rajoub - Image Palestine-Info
Legislator Khalil Nayef Rajoub - Image Palestine-Info

His family stated that soldiers surrounded their home located west of Hebron, approximately at 1 a.m., and kidnapped the legislator taking him to an unknown destination.

Fu’ad al-Khuffash, head of the Ahrar Center for Detainees Studies and Human Rights, reported that the soldiers violently broke into the home of Rajoub and informed him that they have an arrest warrant against him.

Al-Khuffash added that the kidnapping of Rajoub is regarded as a “declaration of a new war against elected legislators and officials, and another attempt to kidnap the legislators” similar to the massive arrests targeting dozens of elected legislators and officials on June 29, 2006.

He stated that the army kidnapped three legislators in the last 45 days; the three are Hatem Qfeisha, Mahmoud al-Ramahi, and today’s kidnapping of Rajoub.

Legislator Rajoub spent four years in Israeli prisons as he was kidnapped on June 29 2006, and was only released five months ago. He was also one of several Hamas officials deported by Israel to Marj al-Zohour in southern Lebanon.

Al-Khuffash demanded international human rights groups to intervene and stop the Israeli violations against the Palestinian people and their elected officials.

On December 17, 1992, Israel arrested and deported 416 members of the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad. The deported leaders camped near the borders and held a strike until Israel was forced to allow them back due to international pressure.

Palestinian lawmaker detained in Israeli raid
Published Wednesday 01/12/2010 (updated) 02/12/2010 22:05
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces detained a Hamas lawmaker Tuesday in Hebron, a prisoners rights group said.

Soldiers raided the home of Nayef Ar-Rujoub overnight, ordering him to get dressed before arresting him, the Ahrar center said.

Only five months earlier, Ar-Rujoub was released from an Israeli after serving a four-year sentence.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the arrest in Dura, a village near Hebron, but refused to comment on the reason for his detention, saying he was one of seven Palestinians picked up overnight.

Hamas later "firmly" denounced the arrest of Rajub "by the Zionist occupation forces which continue to hold 10 other members" of the Islamist group.

"This is a heinous crime committed against the Palestinian people's representatives, and a violation of international laws," Hamas said in a statement issued in Damascus.

Hamas has called on "the security services of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Salam Fayyad to stop all forms of coordination" with Israel.

Rajub, the former Palestinian minister for religious affairs, was released in June after serving four years behind bars.

He is the brother of Jibril Rajub, one of the leaders of Abbas's secular Fatah movement, which has been embroiled in a bitter dispute with Hamas for years.

The MP was one of more than 60 elected Hamas officials arrested in June 2006 after Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a deadly cross-border raid. Many of those officials have since been freed.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli jails, including several top militants convicted of deadly attacks, in exchange for Shalit, who is being held in a secret location in the coastal enclave.

The last round of talks over Shalit, mediated by Egypt and Germany, ground to a halt late last year when Israel presented an offer to which Hamas has not yet officially responded.

Israel and Hamas have each blamed the other for failing to reach a deal.

AFP contributed to this report