Israel abducts Palestinian Speaker
Israeli security forces abducted Palestinian parliamentary speaker Dr. Abdalaziz Dweik, a leader of the governing Hamas movement, in a raid on his West Bank home on Sunday.
"We were sitting home peacefully, normally. Then we heard knocking on the door, which surprised and shocked us because the knocking was so loud," his wife told Reuters in the West Bank city of Ramallah after the night-time abduction. "He went down because the army was there. He opened the door. They saw him in his pyjamas and asked him to go with them. He asked for his clothes, and I brought them."
An Israeli spokesman confirmed Dweik was taken into custody. "He is the head of Hamas' legislature and since Hamas is a terrorist organization, he is a target for arrest," he said.
Israeli forces kidnapped eight members of the Palestinian cabinet and 23 legislators in June after Hamas and two other groups captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is still being held. Three of the ministers have since been freed.
"We condemn and reject this Israeli piracy," Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told Reuters after Dweik was kidnapped. "We urge all Arab and international parliamentarians to condemn and denounce this crime and to secure the release of Aziz Dweik and all jailed ministers and lawmakers," he said.