by Chana Ya'ar
Israeli forces have been busy rounding up terrorist leaders from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations in Judea and Samaria over the last several days.
The arrest of a major Hamas figure on Saturday followed another, when a top Hamas political leader was taken into custody two days earlier.
Hamas spokesman Khaled Al-Haj, 45, was arrested Saturday as he approached a checkpoint at the entrance of Araba, about 13 kilometers southwest of the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin.
Al-Haj, a prominent Hamas political leader in Jenin, was first imprisoned during the first and second intifadas for nearly 11 years, according to the Al Qassam website of the Hamas terrorist group. He was again arrested in 2007 and held for three more years “for activity and work in the ranks of the movement.”
Al-Haj most recently represented Hamas in the faction's coordinating committee that led to a unity deal with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority last week, according to the PA-linked Ma'an news service.
On Thursday, Hamas leader Majed Hasan, 47, was arrested by IDF troops at his home in Ramallah.
Hasan spent more than eight years in Israeli prisons, according to the Al Qassam website.
Islamic Jihad Leaders Seized
Undercover IDF forces entered Jenin Friday and arrested Islamic Jihad leader Bassam al-Saadi, according to Ma'an.
A member of the political leadership of Islamic Jihad, al-Saadi, 49, was released from prison two months ago after completing an eight-year term for terrorist activity.
Four residents of Silet al-Hartheyyah, a nearby PA Arab village, were also taken into custody. All four Islamic Jihad members, Hasen Mustafa Jaradat, Hussein Rafiq Jarad, and brothers Hussein and Munteser Ahmad Jaradat, had previously been detained by Israel.
On Thursday, IDF forces also arrested Tareq Qaadan, the Islamic Jihad's representative to Jenin and northern Israel. Qaadan was taken from his home during a night operation in the village of Arraba.
Qadan was released from an Israeli prison in October 2008 after serving 10 years for terrorist activity.