Israel detains Palestinian deputy Prime Minister
Israeli troops nabbed deputy Palestinian Prime Minister and senior Hamas member Nassereddin al-Shaer on Saturday.Updated: Aug 19, 2006 22:52 IST
Israeli troops nabbed deputy Palestinian Prime Minister and senior Hamas member Nassereddin al-Shaer on Saturday, in the latest move against the governing Islamist movement.
Israel has detained more than 60 Hamas officials since the June 25 capture of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas-led government condemned the new arrest as an attempt to destroy the Palestinian administration.
"At 4:30 (0700 IST) in the morning the soldiers came to our house and took Nasser," Shaer's wife Huda said.
Palestinian security sources said 30 army jeeps entered the West Bank town of Ramallah early Saturday morning and left immediately after the arrest of the 45-year-old Shaer, who is also education minister.
An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the arrest "as part of our fight against the radical Hamas movement," which refuses to recognise the Jewish state's right to exist and to renounce violence.
The armed wing of Hamas - which carried out a string of suicide attacks against Israel in recent years - is one of the three militant groups that claimed the abduction of the Israeli soldier.
As part of its crackdown against Hamas, which Israel and the United States consider a terrorist organisation, the Jewish state on June 29 detained 64 Hamas officials, including eight ministers and 26 lawmakers.
First Published: Aug 19, 2006 22:52 IST