Israel military arrest two Hamas lawmakers in West Bank

According to Hamas officials, Israeli troops early Monday arrested two Hamas lawmakers, including the first female legislator to be rounded up in Israel 's ongoing sweep against the militant group.

The arrests bring the number of detained Hamas legislators to 41, with two more on the run. Most were rounded up in mid-2006, following the capture of an Israeli soldier by Hamas-allied militants in Gaza.

The legislators detained Monday were identified as Mariam Saleh from Ramallah and Khaled Tafesh from Bethlehem, said Faraj Romaneh, a Hamas official in the West Bank. Saleh is the first female lawmaker to be detained.

The Israeli army confirmed Saleh's arrest. There was no immediate confirmation of the second arrest.

Hamas won parliament elections in January 2006, capturing 74 of 132 seats, but the arrests have paralyzed the work of the legislature.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova