Days of Palestine – Ramallah
Israeli occupation intelligence warned Hamas leaders in the West Bank to be jailed if they participated in the Palestinian elections later this year.
Legislative Council Speaker Aziz Dweik said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation threatened him to be prevented from running in the upcoming elections.
Aziz Dweik is the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) since his election to that post on 18 January 2006. Dweik, as speaker of the PLC, is recognized by Palestinians, as being the Interim President of the Palestinian National Authority since 19 October 2016 when the national unity government was dissolved.
He was also recognized as the interim president from 15 January 2009, when the elected term of Mahmoud Abbas officially expired, until 2 June 2014, when the national unity government was formed.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation breaks into the house of Deputy in the Legislative Council, Samir Al-Qadhi, in Hebron, and threatened him not to work or to run in the upcoming elections.
Local sources said that Hamas leader Nayef al-Rajoub was also warned by Israeli intelligence agents against running in the upcoming elections.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, al-Rajoub, 63, said he was searched during an Israeli raid on his home in the town of Dura, west of Hebron.
"An intelligence officer then threatened me not to run in the upcoming polls," al-Rajoub said, adding that he was only allowed to cast a ballot in the elections.
Al-Rujoub, a brother of prominent Fatah leader Jibril al-Rujoub, received the most votes during the 2006 parliamentary elections won by Hamas.
In the Hamas-led government that emerged from those elections, Al-Rujoub served as minister of religious endowments. He had previously been detained by Israeli forces and served more than eight years in prison.
Earlier Tuesday, Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians, including Hamas leader Faze' Sawafta, in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank.
Hamas had earlier warned of Israeli plans to stage a mass arrest campaign against the resistance group ahead of Palestinian elections later this year.
Over the past month, several Hamas members were detained in Israeli raids, with the Palestinian group warning that the Israeli arrests aim to disrupt the Palestinian elections and affect its results.
Palestinians are scheduled to vote in legislative elections on May 22, presidential polls on July 31, and National Council polls on Aug. 31.
The last legislative elections, in which Hamas won a majority, were held in 2006.