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Detention campaign continues to target political leaders

June 14, 2011 9:54 A.M. (Updated: June 20, 2011 2:20 P.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- The fifth Palestinian political leader detained since the start of May, Fatah leader in Qalqiliya Muhammad Walwil and his brother were taken from their family home before dawn on Tuesday morning.

The detention followed a home raid and search which family member said took place at 3 a.m., prompting immediate condemnation from Fatah officials.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that the two were detained, but said he could not yet comment as to why.

Fatah in Qalqiliya issued a statement after the detentions calling on human rights organizations to intervene.

The continued detention of Palestinian leaders, Fatah said, "shows Israel does not want peace in the region."

Walwil is the second Fatah leader to have been detained by Israeli forces in the past month and a half, and the fifth political figure including three Hamas officials that have been detained in recent weeks.

On 5 May, Fatah leader and unity proponent Hussam Khader was detained by Israeli forces for unknown reasons, and has been remanded to administrative detention with an expected term of six months. A court will decide on the term - though Khader remains uncharged - on Sunday.

Hamas leader Adnan Abu Tabanah was one of three detained in Hebron by Israeli forces on 12 May morning, one week after elected Hamas leader Issa Khairy Aj-Ja’bari was taken from his home in Hebron's Namra neighborhood. On 3 May Palestinian Legislative Council member Ali Romanin was taken from his home north of Jericho.
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