RAMALLAH(AFP) - The Israeli army said Monday it arrested 25 Hamas members during the night in the West Bank while Hamas said that three parliamentarians were among the arrested men.
Hamas has 74 members in the 132-seat Palestinian Authority Legislative Council, which is based in Ramallah. The latest arrests bring the number of Hamas lawmakers being held by Israelto 12.
Senior Palestinian official HananAshrawi condemned the arrests. She described them as "deliberate Israeli plans to destabilise the internal situation, interfere in Palestinian institutions ... and deal a blow to national reconciliation" between Fatah and Hamas, which respectively govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Security sources have told AFP that Israel plans to step up arrests of suspected militants.