Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Thursday evening, the elected head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, after stopping him at the Jaba’ military roadblock, south of Jenin, in northern West Bank.
The Ma’an News Agency reported that the soldiers forced Dr. Dweik out of his vehicle, cuffed and blindfolded him, before taking him to an unknown destination.
The Ynet News, Israeli online daily, published on Thursday evening a picture of Israeli Member of Knesset (MK) Hanin Zoaby with a number of Hamas leaders in the West Bank, including Dr. Dweik.
The Ynet reported that the army found the picture after breaking into an office of the Change and Reform Bloc, the parliamentary party of Hamas, in Tulkarem last month. The picture shows Zoaby along with Dweik and Hamas supporter Mariam Saleh.
MK Uri Ariel, of the National Union fundamentalist party in Israel, called on the Legal Advisor of the Israeli government to open an investigation against Zoaby in order to strip her of her political immunity.
Ariel said that Zoaby’s meeting with Hamas leaders is considered “a betrayal to Israel.”
MK Zoaby has been under constant threats and “legal” attacks, including attempts to remove her from the Knesset, since her participation in the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to Gaza, before being boarded by Israeli commandos in May 2010, whilst still in International Water. Nine Turkish activists were killed and dozens were wounded, including several Israeli commandos, before the navy towed the ship to Ashdod Port.
Dr. Aziz Dweik was repeatedly kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel, and in 1992, he and 415 political leaders of the Hamas movement were expelled to Marj Az-Zohour area in Southern Lebanon. They refused to head to Lebanon and camped out in the cold in Marj Az-Zouhour until they were allowed back into Palestine.
He served as Hamas English Language spokesperson, and in 2006 he was elected as the head of the Palestinian Legislative Council when Hamas garnered an overwhelming victory in the legislative and local council elections; Israel and the United States decided to shun the elected government.
On June 29, 2006, and after being elected as the PLC head, Dr. Dweik was kidnapped, along with dozens of elected Hamas officials, and was imprisoned by Israel for three years, despite the fact that no charges were brought against him; he was placed under administrative detention.
He was released on June 23, 2009, after an Israeli court refused to extend his remand when the Israeli prosecution failed to present any evidence against him. The prosecution was attempting to have Dr. Dweik remanded under administrative detention for an additional year.