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CNN reporting Israel arrested Hamas Labor Minister

Published: Wednesday June 28, 2006

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Hamas Labor Minister Mohammad al-Barghouti and other Palestinian government officials have been arrested as Israel attempts to rescue a kidnapped soldier kidnapped, according to assorted news reports.

"Hamas officials said more than 30 lawmakers have been arrested in the West Bank," reports the Associated Press.

"Palestinian security officials said Israeli forces detained the Palestinian deputy prime minister, Nasser Shaer, and three other Cabinet ministers, as well as four lawmakers in Ramallah," the AP story continues. "Israeli media reported a roundup of Hamas lawmakers in Jerusalem and other locations."

Also, the Hamas mayor of the West Bank town of Qalqiliya and his deputy were detained, security officials said.

Eyewitnesses are also claiming that an Islamic University in Gaza had a missile fired at it, causing an explosion.

"An Israeli warplane fired a missile on Thursday at the pro-Hamas Islamic University in Gaza City, setting off a huge explosion, witnesses said, reports Reuters.

"An Israeli army spokesman said the planes had targeted an open area in Gaza City," Reuters continues. "Witnesses said the missile crashed into a soccer field."

Israel's Haaretz has a story about al-Barghouti's arrest credited to news agencies:

"Palestinian security officials said Israel Defense Forces troops arrested a cabinet member of the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority early Thursday, as Israel increased pressure on the militant group to free a captive soldier.," says the Haaretz report.

"The officials said Labor Minister Mohammed Barghouti was stopped on his way to his village north of Ramallah. Military jeeps stopped his car, ordered him out of the vehicle and took him away, they said," Haaretz continues.

The Associated Press reports that other Hamas government officials have also been arrested.

"Israeli forces arrested the deputy prime minister of the Hamas government, two other Cabinet ministers and four lawmakers in a raid on a complex of buildings in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian security officials said," reports the Associated Press. "Israeli forces also arrested Labor Minister Mohammed Barghouti. All those arrested were from Hamas."