Israeli court extends detention of Hamas lawmaker

RAMALLAH, May 31 (Xinhua) — An Israeli court extended the detention of a Hamas lawmaker for another six months, the Hamas parliamentary bloc said Tuesday.

Nayef al-Rejoub, a West Bank-based Hamas official, was detained in December and has not been indicted or charged, the bloc said in a statement.

Al-Rejoub is one of dozens of Hamas lawmakers who were detained for the first time in 2006. Israel chased down Hamas West Bank- based officials after the Islamic movement kidnapped an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip.

Israel released most of the lawmakers, including Al-Rejoub, but arrested them again last year. By Tuesday, Israel still holds 10 Hamas legislators.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, demands Israel to release at least 1,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners in exchange for the captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army arrested 12 Palestinians in the cities of Qalqilya and Jenin in the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said.

In Jenin, the Israeli forces also shut down a charity close to the Islamic Jihad movement, witnesses said.

Israel says most of the arrested are wanted activists.

Source: Xinhua.

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