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Israel detains leading MP near Nablus

Oct. 27, 2012 5:35 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 29, 2012 1:22 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained the secretary-general of the Palestinian parliament Mahmoud al-Ramahi on Saturday afternoon as he passed through a northern West Bank checkpoint.

Al-Ramahi was driving south from Nablus when he was seized at the Huwwara checkpoint. His car was also confiscated.

The MP was last released from Israeli jail less than four months ago.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the detention and said he is "suspected of involvement in illegal activity," without elaborating.

Months after al-Ramahi was appointed to the leadership the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006, he was seized by Israeli forces in his hometown of al-Bireh, near Ramallah, as part of a sweep of arrests after Hamas won elections.

Al-Ramahi, a medical doctor, was elected on the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform list.

He was jailed from August 2006 until March 2009. The MP was again arrested in November 2010, and held in administrative detention until July 4 this year.

Al-Ramahi has brokered talks between Hamas and Fatah, and Hamas officials said his last detention was an Israeli attempt to disrupt reconciliation talks.

According to latest statistics, 13 Palestinian MPs are being held in Israeli jails.
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