Israel detains 12 Palestinians, including 3 Hamas leaders

03:00 Oct 31 2013 Ramallah, Beitunia, Bethlehem, Jenin, Niliin,

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces arrested 12 Palestinians overnight Wednesday, including three leaders from Hamas, locals said.

Israeli forces raided Ramallah and Beitunia and detained Sheikh Jamal al-Taweel, the former mayor of al-Bireh, Sheikh Hussein Abu Kwaiek, and Sheikh Faraj Rumana.

Three people were detained in the Bethlehem area, four in Jenin, one in Nilin and one east of Jerusalem, locals said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said 12 Palestinians were arrested overnight.

A Hamas official told AFP that Israel had on Sunday night arrested 15 Hamas members in the northern West Bank cities of Tulkarem and Nablus, and the southern city of Hebron.

He said two of those arrested in Hebron were Palestinian MPs who had been detained several times before.

The remainder were mostly students.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights slammed the arrests as "a form of collective punishment against Palestinian civilians," and confirmed two lawmakers had been detained.

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