IDF arrests Hamas leader planning base in West Bank

Military says Sheikh Jamal al-Tawil took an active part in organizing violent riots and re-establishment of terror group’s headquarters in Ramallah; arrest comes after Egyptian-brokered ceasefire halted 11 days of fighting in Gaza

The IDF said Wednesday it has arrested a Hamas leader in the West Bank accused of setting up a base for the Palestinian terror group in the territory.

The military said Tawil took an active part in organizing violent riots and the re-establishment of the Hamas headquarters in Ramallah.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem in Gaza confirmed the arrest.

“The occupation forces’ arrest of movement leader Jamal al-Tawil will not quell the voice of resistance in the West Bank,” he said.

The arrest came after a May 21 Egyptian-brokered ceasefire halted 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

On Wednesday, Iyad al-Bozom, spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza, said two more Hamas combatants died while dismantling Israeli ordnance in the enclave.

Israel has arrested dozens of Hamas members in past weeks in the West Bank, including several who had planned to run in Palestinian elections scheduled for late May but postponed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas controls the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, while Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
Israel, the United States and the European Union consider Hamas a “terrorist” organization.

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