Mohammed Mar’i
Arab News
July 22, 2008 - 4:55pm§ion=0&article=112019&d=22&m=7&y=2008

Israeli forces operating in the West Bank city of Nablus early yesterday arrested more than 20 Palestinians, including a Hamas woman lawmaker, businessmen and students, Palestinian security sources said.

The sources said that the detentions were part of a crackdown that Israel launched since early July against civil institutions and charities alleged to be linked with Hamas. According to the sources, the Israeli forces rolled into the city early yesterday and broke into tens of houses and conducted search operations.

During the operation, the forces arrested Mona Mansour, a member of Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council, from her house and took her to an unknown location, members of her family said.

The Israeli troops also arrested a number of the board members of a finance company, which owns a Nablus mall Israel ordered to shut down last week on suspicion of being linked to Hamas fundraising. The board members were taken into Israeli custody.

The army also arrested prominent city businesspeople, including Nablus Chamber of Commerce member Othman Musleh, 60, after seizing his personal documents and papers, his brother Salah said, and Imad Kana’an, chairman of the board of Al-Itiman, a company that owns several businesses in the Nablus Mall, the largest West Bank shopping center.

Among the detainees were eight students of An Najah National University who were taken from their dormitory in Rafedia neighborhood, to the west of the city.

Meanwhile, the deposed Hamas Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, yesterday said that an honorable agreement would soon be brokered with Israel to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners in return for the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

He told reporters during a visit to the Ministry of Prisoners in Gaza, that Hamas would insist that all of its demands are met before any exchange with Israel went ahead. “We will not abandon these demands until prisoners are returned to their families as part of a national ceremony,” he said.


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