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Israeli forces fail to detain elderly Hamas MP for 4th time

Sept. 3, 2014 4:43 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 4, 2014 10:16 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday attempted and failed to detain an elderly member of the Palestinian parliament for the fourth time in two months, family members said.

A Ma'an reporter said that more than 10 Israeli vehicles raided Nablus on Wednesday and encircled the al-Zahraa building in which Hamas MP Sheikh Ahmad al-Hajj Ali, 77, lives near al-Ein refugee camp.

The MP was not home at the time of the raid, and sources close to al-Hajj Ali's family told Ma'an that this was the fourth time that Israeli forces had failed to detain him.

Israeli authorities reportedly issued him orders to turn himself in over the summer as part of the massive arrest campaign launched against Hamas members of Parliament, but the sources said he had refused to turn himself in.

Israeli forces have raided al-Hajj Ali's house several times before in order to detain him, and the sources told Ma'an that the forces threatened to assassinate him if he does not turn himself in.

On Aug. 20, PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said that 36 members of the Palestine Legislative Council, the equivalent of a parliament, were being held in Israeli jails, the majority having been arrested in the previous two months as part of an Israeli crackdown on dissent.
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