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Israel presses West Bank hunt for teenagers with 30 new arrests

Published on Jun 19, 2014 2:55 PM
Palestinian men speaking to Israeli soliders taking part in a search for three missing Israeli youths in the West Bank town of Hebron on June 17, 2014. Israeli troops arrested another 30 Palestinians overnight on Thursday, June 19, 2014, the army announced. -- PHOTO: AFP

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

The arrests raised the number of Palestinians detained to 280, of whom around three-quarters are members of the Islamist Hamas movement, a military statement said.

The three teenagers, two of them minors, disappeared from a popular hitchhiking spot near the sprawling southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement bloc late on June 12, with Israel blaming Hamas.

It has launched a massive military operation to find them which also has the stated objective of crushing the Islamist movement's infrastructure in the West Bank.

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