Israel arrests Fatah lawmaker, strikes Hamas post in Gaza


Ramallah : An Israeli army unit Tuesday arrested Jamal Tirawi, a Fatah lawmaker, in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian security officials said.

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They said the army unit raided a house in Balata refugee camp in Nablus and arrested Tirawi along with four other members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement, who were with him in the same building.

The four included Rabi Abu Leil, a senior member of the Brigades who has been sought by the Israeli army for many years for his alleged anti-occupation militant activities. But the army stopped pursuing him after he was elected to parliament on a Fatal list in January of last year.

Israel, in the last few months, has rounded dozens of Palestinian lawmakers who are members of the more radical Hamas Islamic movement. This is the first time it has arrested a Fatah lawmaker since the elections. More than 40 legislators in the 132-seat Palestinian parliament are currently held by Israel, most of them Hamas members.

Israel, meanwhile, carried out another air strike in the northern Gaza Strip overnight, targeting a Hamas training camp in the town of Beit Hanoun, a military spokesman confirmed. Some four people were reported injured.

Israel has launched an aerial campaign against Hamas and other militant groups involved in launching rockets at its southern towns and villages, after they escalated their rocket-fire in mid-May in a bid to restore Palestinian unity and end a week of deadly internecine fighting.

Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and al-Aqsa militants launched a volley of 15 rockets at southern Israel Monday, bringing the total of rockets launched in the past two weeks two nearly 270.

Some 48 Palestinians and two Israelis have been killed in the mutual attacks in and from Gaza.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah, has thus far failed to convince Hamas and the other factions to end the rocket-fire for one month, allowing time for negotiations with Israel on an extended truce in both Gaza and the West Bank.