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Israel Arrests Palestinian Parliament Speaker

Aziz Dweik, Speaker of the Palestinian parliament (2009 file photo)

Hamas officials say the Israeli army has arrested Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The officials say Dweik was detained Thursday at an Israeli military checkpoint as he was travelling to Hebron in the southern West Bank. Israel has not commented on the incident.

Dweik is a senior member of the Islamist Hamas movement, which governs Gaza Strip. However, he is based in the West Bank.

The Palestinian parliament has not functioned since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival Fatah Party. The legislative body is supposed to be revived under a unity deal signed last year by the leaders of the two Palestinian factions.

Dweik was previously arrested along with other Hamas parliamentarians and government officials in 2006 after Palestinian militants abducted an Israeli soldier. He was released in 2009.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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