Israeli army soldiers Tuesday night arrested a senior Hamas official in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority has demanded total control of security. The IDF did not explain the circumstances behind the counterterrorist operation.
Dr. Mahmoud al-Ramahi, the Hamas secretary-general in the Palestinian parliament, was taken into custody from his home for the second time in four years. He was arrested four years ago, following the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and the murder of Eliyahu Asheri, 18-year-old Israeli teenager from the Jewish community of Itamar, by the Palestinian Popular Resistance Committees terror organization.
Al-Ramahi was released two years afterwards.
In Tuesday night’s maneuver, the IDF also arrested other Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Jerusalem and Ramallah, including Muhammad Abu Tir, Mahmoud Atwan and the Supervisor for Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafa.
Meanwhile, IDF forces arrested 11 wanted Arabs in the Judea and Samaria regions overnight. Two wanted Arabs were arrested in villages north of Ramallah, seven others were arrested south of the city, and two more were arrested northeast of Hebron. The suspects were transferred to security forces for questioning.
Last March, the IDF arrested another senior Hamas leader, Maher Odeh, head of the organization’s military and who’d been on the Israel Security Agency’s list of wanted people for 10 years.