Israel detains 11 Hamas lawmakers in West Bank

Israel detains 11 Hamas lawmakers in West Bank

RAMALLAH/GAZA, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Israeli army arrested 11 Islamic Hamas movement's lawmakers, also members of the Palestinian parliament, on early Monday in the West Bank, said local security officials.

They were handcuffed as Israeli troops stormed the West Bank's cities and towns of Tulkarem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin, according to the officials.

The arrests came when Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" targeting the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip continues to unfold, in which 174 Palestinians were killed, while more than 1,200 wounded.

Hamas movement warned Israel of arresting its lawmakers in the West Bank, saying that Israel has arrested at least 30 Hamas lawmakers, including parliament speaker Aziz Sweik, since June 12.

Meanwhile, UN Relief and Work Agency Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl slammed the expansion of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, saying that this would cause negative consequences on civilians.

It is necessary to bring calm back in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible "to avoid more victims," the UN official said at a news conference in northern Gaza.

"We are concerned that the situation in the Gaza Strip will reach an unbearable stage more and more," Krahenbuhl said, adding that "we reiterated the UN's calls on all parties to respect international law and to protect civilians."