An Israeli military court ruled on Monday that eighteen Palestinian
legislators from the ruling Hamas party will remain imprisoned until
their trial is over and a ruling is passed. The decision came after the
military prosecutor's office appealed a court decision to free the
lawmakers while court proceedings continue.

The Israeli court said in its ruling that “it will not allow senior officials of a terrorist organization to hide behind their ranks”, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

Dr. Aziz Dweik, the detained head of the Palestinian Legislative Council said that this decision is political.

After resistance fighters abducted an Israeli soldier on June 25, troops arrested lawmakers and cabinet ministers.

Meanwhile, Israeli vice-premiere, Shimon Peres, said that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, will commit a mistake if he demands the release of senior Palestinian leaders for the release of Shalit.

Peres was mainly referring  to the jailed Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, who was also a member of the legislative council, and the jailed secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who is also a legislator, Ahmad Sa'adat.

During a TV interview, Abbas said that the Egyptian Government is in charge of talks for a prisoner swap deal, and stressed that the Palestinian Authority wants to see Sa'adat and Barghouthi released in any prisoner swap deal.