Hamas says 20 of its members arrested by Israel

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 4:03 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 4 at 5:04 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian militant group Hamas says Israel has arrested 20 of its members, including three lawmakers, in a West Bank raid.

Several Hamas officials say the arrests took place early Monday across the territory. They say three of those arrested are Hamas lawmakers. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

Palestinians have been deeply divided since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007, ousting forces from the secular Fatah party led by the Western backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas lawmakers have been subject to arrests by Israel since the group defeated Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election.

Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization because it has carried out scores of deadly attacks against civilians.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the arrests.

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