Hamas officials said Thursday that the speaker of the Palestinian parliament has been arrested by Israeli soldiers.
A Hamas official said Abdel Aziz Duaik was arrested Thursday near Ramallah. He was speaking on condition of anonymity citing security reasons.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that Israeli soldiers arrested Duaik on suspicion of being a member of a terror organization.
The Palestinian parliament has not functioned since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival Palestinian Fatah Party.
According to Duaik, the Palestinian unity government will be established in the end of January and will not have any diplomatic missions other than preparing for the elections. He said he will not be heading the Palestinian unity government.
Since then the Western-backed Fatah governs the West Bank while Hamas rules Gaza.
Duaik was arrested along with other Hamas officials in 2006 after militants abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. He was released in 2009.
Duaik's arrest is part of IDF efforts, after the completion of the Shalit deal, to prevent any possible operations by terror organizations.
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