AP NEWS

Hamas officials: Palestinian speaker barred from Ramallah

December 26, 2018
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FILE - In this July 19, 2012 file photo, senior Hamas member Abdel Aziz Dweik celebrates his release after serving six months in an Israeli jail without charges, near the West Bank city Hebron. On Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, Hamas officials said that Palestinian police have barred Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament from entering the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dweik had been set to hold a press conference in Ramallah to criticize President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to dissolve the Palestinian legislature, which is controlled by the rival Hamas movement. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi, File)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian police have barred the Hamas-affiliated speaker of the Palestinian parliament from entering the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Speaker Aziz Dweik had been set to hold a press conference in Ramallah to criticize President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to dissolve the Palestinian legislature, which is controlled by the rival Hamas movement.

Palestinian police turned Dweik away from the city Wednesday, saying parliament’s dissolution “has come into effect” and “no one can say he is a speaker or member of the council.”

Abbas’ decision last week to disband the non-functioning parliament is mostly symbolic, signaling the deepening divide between his Fatah party and Hamas. The bitter split traces back to 2007, when Hamas wrested control of Gaza, relegating Fatah rule to parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.