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Israeli army arrests Hamas official in West Bank

Written by: Staff
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Apr 25 (Reuters) Israeli soldiers arrested a spokesman for the militant Palestinian group Hamas in the occupied West Bank early today, his family said.

Farhat Asaad, Hamas' spokesman in the West Bank, was arrested overnight at his home in a western neighbourhood of the city of Ramallah, his wife said. Asaad does not hold a post in the new Hamas-led Palestinian government.

The Israeli army said 18 suspected militants were arrested overnight. A spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether Asaad was among them, but she said none of those detained overnight was arrested in Ramallah.

Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, spearheaded a suicide bombing campaign against Israel for more than a decade but has largely abided by a year-old truce.

REUTERS CH PC1710

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