Israel nabs Palestinian Hamas deputy PM
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Israeli troops early Saturday morning arrested
Palestinian deputy prime minister and Hamas member Nasseredine al-Shaer
in the latest move against the Islamist group, Palestinians and Israeli
Shaer's wife, Huda, told AFP that "at 0430 (0130 GMT) in the morning
the soldiers came to our house and took Nasser."
Palestinian security sources said that 30 army jeeps entered the West
Bank town of Ramallah early Saturday morning and left immediately after
An Israeli army spokesman confirmed carrying out the arrest "as part
of our fight against the radical Hamas movement," which refuses to
recognise the Jewish state's right to exist and renounce violence.
Earlier this month, Israeli forces had also arrested Aziz Dweik, the
Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament.
As part of its crackdown against Hamas, which Israel and the United
States consider a terrorist movement, the Jewish state on June 29
detained 64 other leading Hamas figures, including eight ministers and
26 lawmakers, in a massive sweep across the West Bank.
The Israeli crackdown, which has also involved large military
incursions in Palestinian areas, began on June 28, three days after
Palestinian militants from Gaza killed two soldiers and captured a third
in a cross-border raid.
The military says it aims to recover the soldier and to stop
Palestinian militants from firing rockets into Israeli territory.
Following the capture of the Israeli soldier, the Jewish state
embarked on a campaign to strangle Hamas, whose armed wing was one of
three militant groups that took part in the abduction.