Israel arrests Hamas leaders in run-up to Palestinian election

Israel arrests Hamas leaders in run-up to Palestinian election
Israel on Friday launched a new round of arrests of Hamas leaders in the West Bank, ahead of Palestinian elections scheduled for May.
2 min read
26 March, 2021
Israel has recently increased its arrests of Hamas operatives in the West Bank [Getty]
Israeli forces launched a new wave of raids and arrests against Hamas leaders in the West Bank on Friday morning, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Palestinian security sources told WAFA that Israeli troops stormed Hebron and arrested Issa al-Jabari, a former minister of local government, and Hatem Qafisha, after raiding and searching their homes.

Al-Jabari has spent several years in Israeli prisons.

In recent days, Israel has increasingly targeted Hamas figures in the West Bank, in the run-up to Palestinian elections, which are scheduled for May 22. 

Read More: As diaspora Palestinians, our votes should count too

Israel has previously been accused of trying to interfere with Palestinian elections and ruin efforts to find accord between rival Palestinian groups Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, the dominant Palestinian faction in the West Bank.  

On Wednesday, Israel arrested other Hamas leaders in the West Bank, most of whom were former prisoners it had freed before.

One of the Hamas leaders arrested was Jamal al-Taweel, who was picked up from his home in Al-Bireh, less than two weeks after he was released from an Israeli jail, the Arabic news website Arabi 21 reported.

Israeli forces also stormed the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah on Wednesday, arresting other Hamas operatives. 

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