Palestinian sources in Ramallah, in the northern part of the West Bank, reported on Sunday morning that Israeli troops took Mahmoud Musleh, an elected Hamas legislator at the Palestinian Legislative Council, prisoner after breaking into his home.


Musleh, 65, was arrested after the soldiers surrounding broke into his house in Ramallah.

Musleh was the head of Hamas media office during the first Intifada which started in 1987, and became the Hamas media spokesperson in 1995 and 1996. He was also a member of the National Dialogue Committee that was established by the late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed the abduction of Musleh and considered the attack as a direct violation against the Palestinian legitimacy and a violation to the signed agreements between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel.

Abbas demanded Israel to release all elected Legislators and Ministers. He also condemned the continuous Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and called on the Quartet Committee and the International Community to stop the Israeli violations and aggression.  

Since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, troops arrested 41 legislators, including the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik. 37 of the arrested Legislators are members of Hamas, three are members of Fateh and one is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Several Hamas ministers and mayors were also arrested since Israeli launched its offensive in the Gaza Strip following the abduction of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from an Israeli military base south of the Gaza Strip.

Shalit  was abducted on Sunday morning, 25 June 2006. He was captured by Palestinian resistance fighters who attacked the Israeli military post, and killed two soldiers in the ensuing gun battles; two fighters were also killed in the attack.