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Palestinians condemn detention of parliament speaker

01-21-2012 11:02 BJT

RAMALLAH, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinians on Friday condemned the detention of their parliament speaker Aziz al-Dewik by Israel a day earlier.

"This is part of Israeli pressure on the Palestinians to obstruct or affect the reconciliation," said Nabil Abu Rdienh, spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, describing the arrest of al-Dewik as "piracy" and accusing Israel of using ways of "gangs" when they detained the Palestinian parliament speaker at a checkpoint in the West Bank.

The Palestinian leadership has been making contacts on different levels to secure the release of al-Dewik, he added.

Al-Dewik, also a Hamas leader, was arrested when traveling from Ramallah city to Nablus where he lives.

Al-Dewik had been rounded up with dozens of Hamas lawmakers in the West Bank in 2006 in Israeli response to the capturing of an Israeli soldier by Hamas in Gaza, and was freed in 2009 after three years in detention.

The speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) is the second highest position after the presidency. Given the feud between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, the PLC has been inactive for years.

Israel Radio quoted an army spokesperson as saying that the arrested Palestinian parliament speaker was suspected of relating to "terror activity."

In Gaza, Ismail Haneya, prime minister of the deposed Hamas government, called for reactivating the PLC to respond to the Israeli detention of its head.

"The doors of the PLC in the West Bank must also open," Haneya told reporters, referring to Hamas' accusations that Fatah blocks the activities of the Hamas-dominated parliament.

In May 2011, Egypt brokered a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, but the two sides still discuss details related to the deal, including the release of political prisoners, holding elections, forming a unity government and reforming Palestine Liberation Organization.

Meanwhile, Haneya urged the Palestinian leadership to suspend exploratory talks with Israel, which are being held in Jordan's capital Amman under an international initiative to resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"A Palestinian can not shake hands with his occupier and enemy that arrests the symbol of legitimacy (referring to al-Dewik)," Haneya said, adding that negotiations with Israel were "a failed experience."

Israel still holds 25 members of the PLC, 21 of whom are Hamas lawmakers.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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