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Israel Raids Red Cross Office, Arrests Hamas Officials

12:00 Jan 23 2012 International Red cross office, east Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, January 23, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli special forces Monday raided the International Red Cross office in East Jerusalem and arrested two Hamas officials, including one Palestinian parliament member, sources at Red Cross said.

The force arrested lawmaker Mohammad Totah and former minister of Jerusalem affairs in the Hamas government, Khaled Abu Arafeh, who took refuge at the Red Cross office more than 18 months ago to avoid Israeli arrest and expulsion from Jerusalem.

Sources said Totah and Abu Arafeh had received a phone call from the Israeli police two weeks ago giving them 48 hours to leave the building and the city.

It is suspected that the two Hamas officials will be expelled from the city as was the case with the two other Hamas lawmakers from Jerusalem Mohammad Abu Tir and Ahmad Atton.

The Hamas elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council from East Jerusalem were stripped of their right to live in the occupied city under the pretext of “not being loyal to the state of Israel.”

After losing a court appeal against their forced expulsion from their city, the PLC members sought political refuge in the Red Cross compound in East Jerusalem.

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