Israel detains another senior Hamas lawmaker

Israel detains another senior Hamas lawmaker

[JURIST] Israeli intelligence forces on Sunday arrested Mahmoud al-Ramahi, a top member of Hamas [CFR backgrounder] and secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council [official website], one day after Israeli forces detained the Palestinian deputy prime minister [JURIST report]. Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organization and has arrested many members of the Hamas leadership in recent months, beginning with the arrest of seven Hamas government ministers and some 20 legislators [JURIST report]. Al-Ramahi is the fourth-ranking member of the Palestinian parliament; other top parliament officials have been detained [JURIST report] including parliament speaker Aziz Dweik [official profile in Arabic; JMCC profile].

Although Israel has released some detainees [JURIST report], five Cabinet minister and over 20 lawmakers still remain in Israeli custody. Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya [BBC profile] has said that Israel is trying to interfere with Palestinian efforts to form a unity government after Hamas came to power [JURIST report] in January's parliamentary elections. AP has more.