Last updated: 27 October, 2012

Israel arrests senior Hamas MP in West Bank

Israeli security forces on Saturday held senior Hamas MP Mahmud al-Ramahi for several hours at a military roadblock in the West Bank and impounded his car, Palestinian parliamentary officials said.

The parliament speaker’s office said Ramahi was questioned until evening about his activities in the Islamist militant group before being sent back to his home in Ramallah, but his vehicle was confiscated as allegedly Hamas property.

It said that Israeli forces this week visited the home of jailed Hamas MP Ahmed Mubarak and took his car away on the same grounds.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP that Ramahi was stopped and questioned “on suspicion of illegal activity,” at Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus.

Ramahi, formerly secretary general of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian parliament, has been repeatedly held by Israel.

In November 2010 he was arrested for what the army described as “being involved in recent Hamas activities” and held without trial for a total of 12 months.

In 2006 he was arrested in a roundup of dozens of Hamas lawmakers, ministers and other officials after Gaza militants seized Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and was held for seven months.