Israel arrests 80 year old mother of exiled Hamas leader
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The Israeli army on Monday arrested the elderly mother of Salah Aruri, a senior member of Hamas exiled in Syria, said the woman's relatives and Palestinian security sources.
Aisha Yussef Salah, almost 80, was arrested in an Israeli army night-time raid on her West Bank home near the village of Arura, her daughter, Jamila Mohammed Yussef, said.
"We have informed the Red Cross but we still don't know where she is," Yussef said, adding that her mother was in poor health.
The Israeli army said it was investigating the report.
Aruri is considered to be a leader of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas.
He served a 15-year sentence in an Israeli jail before being released in 2007 and arrested again three months later, the sources said.
Arouri was released last year on condition that he goes into exile. He now operates from Hamas's political office in Syria.
Hamas, in a statement issued in Damascus, denounced the arrest and the way in which it was carried out.
"We firmly denounce the raid on Aisha Yussef Salah's home and her arrest and we denounce the savage way in which she was arrested and her home searched," the statement said.
"This savage Zionist act is ... a desperate bid to terrorise Aruri's family."
Hamas urged human rights groups to intervene to free the woman.