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Israeli forces arrest 2 Hamas-linked lawmakers in occupied West Bank

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows Hamas-affiliated Palestinian lawmaker Khalid Tafish (R).

Israeli forces have arrested two legislators with the Gaza-based Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, along with more than a dozen other Palestinians during separate raids across the occupied West Bank.

On Monday morning, a large number of Israeli troopers raided the town of Beit Sahur, which lies east of the central West Bank city of Bethlehem, and arrested Khalid Tafish and Anwar Zaboun.

They are members of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

Israeli forces also arrested Sheikh Hussain al-Wariyan, a high-ranking Hamas figure, in Handazah district east of Bethlehem. 

Two former prisoners from Bethlehem, situated about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, were also detained by Israeli forces.

Also early on Monday, Israeli forces broke into several homes in the city of Qalqilyah, making several arrests. Three Palestinians were detained in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, two in al-Khalil (Hebron) and two more in Nablus.

Israeli forces carry out night raids across the occupied Palestinian territory on a nearly daily basis. 

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

The Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed tensions ever since Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

At least 283 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October that year.  

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