Peres: Hamas officials to be tried

Palestinian government officials detained after the capture of an Israeli soldier will be prosecuted, according to Israel’s deputy prime minister.

    At least 64 Hamas members were arrested in the West Bank

    Israel arrested dozens of Hamas members, including eight ministers and more than 20 politicians, in raids in the West Bank. One-third of the Palestinian cabinet, including the finance minister, Omar Abdel-Razeq, are being held.

    "They will be put on trial," Shimon Peres told CNN on Sunday. "And they will be accused of participating, supporting terroristic acts against the civilian government," he said.

    Peres spoke after an Israel air strike hit the Gaza office of Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, setting the building on fire.

    Peres said Israel was not trying to topple the Hamas government but criticised its policies. "It is a government that was elected properly, but behaves like a terroristic organisation. So we didn't disturb the elections, but once we see the way they behave, we cannot consider them a  government," he said.

    Israeli raid

    Earlier, five people were injured when Israeli soldiers raided a hospital in the West Bank on a failed mission to arrest a wanted Palestinian.

    Troops surrounded the hospital in Nablus looking to arrest a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. They used stun grenades and rubber bullets to fight off stone throwers, security sources and witnesses said.

    Stones were thrown at Israeli
    soldiers outside Nablus hospital 

    The 20-year-old had been taken to the hospital after he was wounded when a bomb he was trying to throw at Israelis blew up in his hands, the sources said.

    Four of the Palestinians were slightly wounded by rubber bullets and one moderately by live fire.

    "There was an arrest operation inside the hospital, but he wasn't there and the forces left the building. There was no problem. There was no active violence towards the forces," an Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP.


    SOURCE: Agencies


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