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European MPs call on Israel to release Palestinian lawmakers

Feb. 1, 2012 8:31 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 3, 2012 6:00 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A group of European Parliamentarians on Wednesday called on Israel to release 26 imprisoned Palestinian lawmakers, official news agency Wafa reported.

The group, composed of 26 members of the European Parliament, urged “the EU and its Member States to take immediate action” to release all imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, a letter said.

“A strong and determined demand by the international community to free all Palestinian parliamentarians is long overdue and must become a priority,” the group said.

The EU lawmakers condemned the recent arrest of Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik, who was seized by Israeli forces at a Ramallah checkpoint on Jan. 19.

They also criticized the arrest of Palestinian MP Mohammad Tawtah and former Jerusalem affairs' minister Khalid Abu Arafa, who were detained on January 23. during a raid on the Jerusalem headquarters of the International Red Cross.

“The most recent arrests aim clearly at undermining the prospect of Palestinian reconciliation and preventing the resumption of parliamentary life. They also jeopardize peace efforts,” said the letter written by EU parliamentarians.
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