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30 new arrests as Israel presses West Bank hunt for teens

Published on Jun 20, 2014 12:32 AM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli troops arrested some 30 Palestinians in the West Bank overnight as they ramped up a search for three teenagers believed kidnapped by Hamas, the army said on Thursday.

The arrests raised the number of Palestinians detained since the youths went missing a week ago to 280, around three-quarters of them members of the Islamist Hamas movement, a statement said.

The teenagers, two of them minors, disappeared from a popular hitchhiking spot in the sprawling southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement bloc late on June 12.

Israel accuses Hamas of being behind the abductions and has launched a far-reaching military operation aimed at finding the teenagers and also crushing the movement's infrastructure in the West Bank.

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