Israeli Army arrests Hamas leader from his home

Israeli Army arrests Hamas leader from his home

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: The Israeli army arrested a Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament at his home in the occupied West Bank overnight, the Palestinian Prisoners´ Club said on Friday.

Muhammed Abu Tir, 65, was arrested in a raid on his home near Ramallah, the group said, only two months after he was released from a previous 17-month sentence.

Abu Tir is from east Jerusalem which he represents on the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Israel´s Shin Bet internal security agency described Abu Tir as one of the most senior Hamas operatives in the West Bank, noting that he spent more than 33 years in Israeli prisons for "military and administrative terror activity".

He was arrested this time because of his "activity in Hamas operations and terror financing", a Shin Bet statement read.

His arrest brings to 13 the number of people from the 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council currently jailed by Israel, according to the Palestinian rights group Addameer.

Israeli authorities consider the Islamist movement that has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 to be a terrorist group, as do the United States and European Union.

The Hamas-dominated parliament has not met since the Islamist movement took over the Gaza coastal enclave in June 2007, ousting Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.