Israeli army arrests lawmakers, businesspeople in Nablus
The Israeli army continued its raid-and-arrest campaign in Nablus early Monday, arresting a lawmaker and several prominent businesspeople in pre-dawn raids in several neighbourhoods in the northern West Bank city, local officials said.
Lawmaker Muna Mansour, 46, was one of those seized, after her home was ransacked and computers, documents and family pictures taken, according to family members, reported dpa.
Mansour, a mother of seven, is a member of the Islamic Hamas movement. Her husband, Jamal, a Hamas leader, was assassinated by the Israeli army seven years ago when a helicopter fired a missile at his Nablus office.
The army also arrested prominent city businesspeople, including Nablus Chamber of Commerce member Othman Musleh, 60, after seizing all his personal documents and papers, his brother Salah said, and Imad Kana'an, chairman of the board of al-Itiman, a company that owns several businesses in the Nablus Mall, the largest West Bank shopping centre.
The army had also arrested the mall's manager, Hasan Abu Zant and several staff members.
Israel earlier had raided the mall, which houses 80 businesses, and ordered it shut for two years, charging it forms a source of income for Hamas.
Israel later canceled the order regarding most of the shops in the mall, but kept it for al-Itiman, alleging the company was owned by Hamas. Company owners have rejected the allegation, stressing they were just profit-seeking businesspeople who had no connection to the Islamist organization.
A total of 24 people were arrested in the pre-dawn raids on Nablus, including students and in one case a father and his sons.