Israeli army arrests Hamas politician in West Bank

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Mohammed Abu Tir is arrested only two months after being released from 17 months in prison

Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Abu Tir holds his granddaughter in his house in Ramallah on 5 September, 2012 (AFP)
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Monday 7 August 2017 9:07 UTC
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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.

Mohammed 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 17-month prison sentence.

Abu Tir is from East Jerusalem, which he represents on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

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 had 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 said.

His arrest brings to 13 the number of legislators from the 132-member PLC 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, overthrowing Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.