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Israel Signals Hardline Policy Intentions

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At issue is preventing peace and stability from erupting. Dr. Mahmoud Ramahi was targeted. It wasn't the first time. He's both anesthesiologist and politician.

He serves as Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Secretary-General. He belongs to the wrong party. His Change and Reform Bloc works cooperatively with Hamas.

On November 10, 2010, he was arrested at home pre-dawn. Administrative detention uncharged followed. He was targeted for brokering PA/Hamas reconciliation. He also belonged to the wrong party.

On May 10, 2011, his detention was renewed for six months. On November 10, it was renewed for another six months. He was imprisoned until July 4, 2012.

On December 16, 1992, he was first arrested, detained, brutally interrogated for four months, tortured, and imprisoned for 28 months. He was targeted for being affiliated with Hamas. On May 14, 1995, he was released.

On August 20, 2006, he was arrested again. Earlier, his home was raided and ransacked multiple times. Computers, cell phones, and other personal possessions were confiscated. His children's ID documents were taken.

He was targeted for belonging to the Change and Reform Bloc (CRB). In February 2007, Israel declared it illegal for being affiliated with Hamas. 

Other Hamas and CRB officials were also arrested. Their crime was belonging to the wrong party. Extra harshness was imposed for winning PLC seats.

Ramahi was imprisoned for another 28 months. On March 31, 2009, he was released.

On November 25, Haaretz contributor Amira Hass discussed him. Her article headlined "Guilty of the crime of pushing for Palestinian unity."

Last week Ramahi and other Hamas-affiliated PLC members were arrested.  Days earlier, he said all Hamas anti-war West Bank protesters knew they risked arrest.

Ramahi had another cross to bear. He actively pursued Hamas/Fatah reconciliation. Israel arrested him and others involved to prevent it. Doing so warned activists not to try. 

Hass spoke to Ramahi earlier. He said:

"Israel and the United States are preventing the PA from reaching reconciliation with Hamas. It's in Israel's interest not to prevent this reconciliation."

"Israelis don't listen to us. They come to talk to us once we are in prison. They send us people from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs." 

"Last time I refused. I said that I don't negotiate when I'm under detention. When I get out we'll talk, you and I."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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