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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Hamas chief’s sister arrested in Israel – media

Police have reportedly found proof that 57-year-old Zebah Abdel Salem Haniyeh had links to ‘serious security offenses’

Israeli security forces on Monday arrested the sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on incitement-of-terrorism charges, according to media reports that cited police.

Officers reportedly claim to have found documents, telephones, and other items through which 57-year-old Zebah Abdel Salem Haniyeh – an Israeli citizen – is linked to “serious offenses against Israel.”

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The police initially did not identify the suspect, saying only that she was a resident of the southern town of Tel Sheva, where the raid took place on Monday morning. However, according to The Times of Israel, defense sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the woman is one of Haniyeh’s sisters.

The operation, dubbed ‘Early Dawn,’ was reportedly a multi-department effort, with police, border officers, the IDF, and Israeli Police’s aerial unit all taking part in the raid.

Israeli Southern District Commander Superintendent Amir Cohen was cited as commenting on the arrest operation that no effort would be spared in the war against terrorism and that every asset available would be used to ensure peace and security for Israeli citizens.

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Later on Monday, some Israeli media reported that Haniyeh would be detained until April 4.

The reports of the arrest come as Israel continues to wage war against Hamas in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eliminate the Palestinian militant group, after it staged a deadly incursion into Israel last October, in which some 1,200 people were killed and scores taken hostage. The Israeli campaign has inflicted heavy damage on Gaza, leaving at least 32,000 people dead, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

On Sunday, Netanyahu reiterated his resolve to achieve a “victory,” revealing that he had already approved an “operational plan” for a renewed push into the southern Gaza city of Rafah.