Overnight Raids Bring Number of Terror Arrests to 330
Israeli security forces have arrested 10 more terror suspects as they press their search for three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas, the army said Saturday.
"Ten people were arrested overnight, bringing to 330 the number of wanted Palestinians arrested since the beginning of the operation," a spokeswoman said.
Israel accuses Hamas of kidnapping two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old who went missing June 12 at a hitch-hiking stop in Gush Etzion, an allegation the Islamist group has dismissed.
Public radio said those arrested included people who had been released from Israeli jails as part of the 2011 deal to free soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been captured and then held by Hamas for five years. Israeli security forces have arrested dozens of terrorists arrested during the Shalit deal as part of a crackdown on Hamas following the abduction.
The army declined to confirm that report.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation said some 50 former prisoners have been placed back in administrative detention by Israel and 380 Palestinians had been arrested since June 12.
Israeli media said teams of firemen and police specialized in rescue operations were in the Hevron area, where the boys are believed to be held, searching wells, reservoirs and caves.
The search was ongoing inside Hevron city itself as well, where an Arab rioter was killed on Friday during clashes with the IDF, as well as in Ramallah, where the army said it had raided the premises of the Hamas television channel.
In the city of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, a 60-year-old man died of a heart attack as Israeli troops searched outside his house, Palestinian Authority security sources said.
Separately, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, striking near Ashkelon city without causing any casualties, the army said.
The missing Israeli teenagers are Gilad Shaer, 16, from Talmon settlement near Ramallah; Naftali Frenkel, 16, from Nof Ayalon, and Eyal Ifrach, 19, from Elad, both in central Israel.