Israeli police arrested two senior Hamas officials from the premises of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in East Jerusalem Monday, witnesses said dpa reported
Some 25 officers broke into the ICRC compound in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and snatched Mohammed Toutah, a lawmaker, and Khaled Abu Arafeh, a former minister, who had taken refuge there for the past 18 months.
The two Hamas politicians had been jailed by Israel following the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Gaza by the radical Islamist movement.
When they were released, Israel stripped them of the permanent residency status they enjoyed as East Jerusalemites, and ordered them to leave to the West Bank. They however refused and instead were held up in the ICRC building.