[JURIST] Aziz Dweik [official profile, in Arabic; JMCC profile], the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council [official website, in Arabic; Wikipedia backgrounder], was taken to the hospital Monday for chest pains and breathing problems, which his spokesman claims are due to beatings by prison guards after his arrest [JURIST report] Sunday in the West Bank by Israeli forces. The Israeli army has denied the allegations, saying he was transferred to a Jerusalem hospital where he will remain until he is in better health, and then will be returned to an Israeli military prison.
Dweik is a senior Hamas [CFR backgrounder] official, and Israeli officials said his affiliation with the militant group prompted his arrest. Last week, two other Hamas officials who have since been released from Israeli custody told reporters that they were abused while detained [JURIST report]. The two officials were part of a group of eight Palestinian cabinet members who were seized [JURIST report] in June by Israeli authorities following the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Reuters has more.