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Israel Defense Forces arrest top Hamas leaders as search for 3 kidnapped yeshiva students continues

By Mason White 4:15 PM June 16, 2014
Israeli soldiers looking for three kidnapped yeshiva students 

By: Aryeh Savir
Israeli soldiers arrested several top Hamas leaders in the West Bank, as the search for three kidnapped yeshiva students continues, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

The IDF is continuing its extensive search to locate the three yeshiva students abducted by Hamas terrorists last Thursday.

Some 40 terrorists were arrested in overnight raids, including the 66-year-old former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Duwaik.

He was caught in his home in Hebron.

Duwaik is next in line to replace Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as acting president of the Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) in case of an emergency. After the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Duwaik was arrested and spent three years in an Israeli prison. He was arrested again at least once after his release.

In total, some 150 Arab terrorists were arrested since the beginning of Operation “Bring Back our Boys.”

In an operation in Hebron that has been crowned as a substantial breakthrough, an elite police unit surrounded a home with the intent of arresting the inhabitants. A gunfight broke out, during which the security forces used a special mini-projectile to breach the door. Two high-level Hamas terrorists were arrested at the conclusion of the battle.

Further military operations were conducted in Ramallah and Shechem. One Palestinian was killed by IDF fire during the searches, apparently after attacking the soldiers.

“We are looking ahead at increasing the activity against Hamas, with an emphasis on the Hebron area, but this activity originates in northern Samaria. The closure in the southern Judea area continues,” a senior military official said. Among other things, Israel plans to shut down various institutions linked to Hamas, and to prevent the transfer of funds.

Security forces are expected to exert further pressure on the terrorist infrastructure throughout Judea and Samaria, with the primary objective of locating the boys while eradicating the existing network, preventing a recurrence of such devastating terror attacks.