Israeli forces arrest Hamas members in the West Bank

Israeli forces during raid in Nablus December 2012 Israel launches regular operations in Palestinian run areas of the West Bank

Israeli forces in the West Bank have arrested at least 20 members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Those arrested, in overnight raids all over the West Bank, included three members of the Palestinian parliament.

Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organisation, but has not said why the arrests were carried out.

Palestinian human rights groups condemned the arrests, saying they aimed to undermine the reconciliation talks between Palestinian factions.

Israel holds more than 4,500 Palestinians in its jails, 12 of them members of the Palestinian parliament, according to Palestinian reports.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967, settling more than 450,000 people in the territory.

In the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections Hamas won 74 seats to rival Fatah's 45 seats in 132 seat parliament.

Armed clashes erupted in Gaza between the two faction sides. Hamas violently forced out Fatah from Gaza in June 2007.

Hamas continues to control Gaza while Fatah remains dominant in the West Bank. In May 2011 Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal but it has not yet been implemented.

More on This Story

More Middle East stories

RSS

Features

  • The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince GeorgeGorgeous George

    Baby steals show as tour reveals rise in support for monarchy


  • Houses of ParliamentBig impact?

    How a Scottish Yes vote would change the UK Parliament


  • Kim Jong-un visits a children's campThe Notepad Men

    Who are the people who take down Kim Jong-un's every word?


  • Donald Tusk7 days quiz

    What made Poland's prime minister become an internet hit?


  • Beebcoins logoMaking money

    How easy is to coin your own virtual currency?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.