A leading member of Hamas, a terrorist organization according to Israel, the U.S., and E.U., was captured overnight in the West Bank and is accused of orchestrating suicide attacks against Israel. "Mahar Uda was seized overnight in the Ramallah region. It did not provide further details. Mr Uda, aged 47, is said to be one of the founders of Hamas' armed wing in the West Bank. Israeli security forces have been hunting for him for more than 10 years in connection with a series of deadly attacks in Israel, the army says. 'He had been on the wanted list since the end of the 1990s for his implication in a series of suicide attacks in Israel which claimed 70 lives,' an Israeli military spokesman told the AFP news agency.
Militants under Mr Uda's command also allegedly gathered ammunition for Hamas attacks against Israel and kidnapped Palestinians suspected of co-operating with Israel. Israeli forces and the rival West Bank Palestinian leadership have clamped down on the militant group since 2007. That was when Hamas took sole control of Gaza, which is blockaded by Israel.
Hamas is the largest Palestinian militant Islamist organisation, formed in 1987 at the beginning of the first intifada, or Palestinian uprising against Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza."