Hunt for teens: Israel arrests 30 more

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Israeli soldiers search for three missing teens believed to have been abducted in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Since the operation to locate the teens began a week ago, about 280 Palestinians have been arrested, the military said, including 200 members of Hamas.

Israeli soldiers search for three missing teens believed to have been abducted in the West Bank city of Jenin, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Since the operation to locate the teens began a week ago, about 280 Palestinians have been arrested, the military said, including 200 members of Hamas.

JERUSALEM: 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 Hamas movement, an army 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.

“Approximately 30 suspects were detained overnight, counting a total of approximately 280 since the beginning of the operation. Out of the 280, 200 are Hamas operatives,” the army said. Soldiers searched around 100 locations and stormed 10 Hamas organizations, which the army said were used “to recruit, disseminate information and enable cash flow.”

One of the sites targeted was the students’ union at Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, Palestinian sources said.

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