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Israel arrests 65 Palestinians as it hunts for allegedly kidnapped teens

Published on Jun 18, 2014 3:21 PM
 
 Israeli soldiers take part in a search operation for three Israeli teenagers believed kidnapped by Palestinian militants, early on June 18, 2014 in the West Bank town of Nablus. Israeli troops arrested 65 Palestinians overnight, most of whom were freed in a 2011 prisoner swap, as they scoured the West Bank for three teenagers believed kidnapped by Hamas. -- PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli troops arrested 65 Palestinians overnight, most of whom were freed in a 2011 prisoner swap, as they scoured the West Bank for three teenagers believed kidnapped by Hamas.

The arrest operations were praised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said it sent an "important message" in the operation to find the three teenagers and deal a substantial blow to Hamas in the West Bank.

"Sixty-five suspects were detained overnight, including 51 Palestinians that were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in 2011," an army statement said. It was referring to the release of 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants for more than five years.

Army radio said most of those re-arrested were members of the Islamist movement, which Israel has blamed for the kidnapping of the youths last week in the southern West Bank.

 
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