The Israeli army said on Wednesday it arrested one of Hamas leaders in the occupied West Bank territory, on charges of setting up a base for a Palestinian Islamist movement in the area.
Special forces arrested Sheikh Jamal Tawil in Ramallah late Tuesday, the army said. According to the army, Tawil “actively contributed to the organization of violent riots” and “the restoration of Hamas headquarters in Ramallah.” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem also confirmed the arrest in the Gaza Strip.
“The arrest of movement leader Yamal Tawil will not silence the voice of resistance in the West Bank,” he said. On May 21, an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire ended 11 days of hostilities between Israel and Hamas. The fighting, which claimed dozens of lives, erupted after the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem
A spokesman for the Hamas-led Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip, said on Wednesday that two more Hamas fighters had died in the enclave neutralizing Israeli cartridges.
Israelis have detained dozens of Hamas members in the West Bank over the past two weeks, including several members of the movement planning to run in the Palestinian elections, which are due to take place in late May but have been postponed by President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas controls the Gaza Strip under an Israeli blockade, while Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Israel, the U.S., and the EU consider Hamas a terrorist organization.