News / Middle East

Israel Re-arrests Former Palestinian Prisoners in Hunt for Teens

Palestinians walk near an Israeli soldier as he stands guard during an operation to locate three Israeli teens in the West Bank City of Hebron, June 17, 2014.
Palestinians walk near an Israeli soldier as he stands guard during an operation to locate three Israeli teens in the West Bank City of Hebron, June 17, 2014.
Reuters
Israel re-arrested 51 Palestinians freed in a 2011 prisoner swap deal, the army said on Wednesday, in the sixth day of a hunt for three missing teenagers believed abducted in the occupied West Bank.
 
Israel accuses Hamas Islamists of kidnapping the seminary students, who disappeared on Thursday while hitchhiking from a Jewish settlement. There has been no word from them since, nor any public claim of responsibility or ransom demands - including by Hamas, though neither has it denied involvement.
 
A military spokesman said more than 65 Palestinians were detained overnight, including 51 who were part of a group of 1,027 prisoners released by Israel three years ago in return for soldier Gilad Shalit, who was seized by Hamas in 2006.
 
“We have two efforts ongoing in parallel. First is to bring back the boys, and the second is to take a toll on Hamas for its actions,” spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said.
 
Palestinians said the majority of those re-arrested were affiliated with Hamas, and accused Israel of reneging on the prisoner-swap deal, which was partially brokered by Egypt.
 
“What Israel is doing has nothing to do with security, but is a policy of revenge,” said Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which advocates on behalf of Palestinians in Israeli custody.
 
An Egyptian official said that Cairo, which is in contact with Hamas and other Palestinian factions, was helping Israel gather information that might lead to the missing teenagers. But he denied Israeli and Palestinian media reports that Egyptian mediation was already under way.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose unity deal with Hamas in April led Israel to suspend peace talks with him, said those responsible for the kidnapping had only brought an Israeli military crackdown upon Palestinians in the West Bank.
 
“Regardless of the party that did this, we will have to say that to them, because we cannt tolerate such operations,” Abbas said at a summit of the Islamic Conference Organization, in Jeddah.
 
“We are coordinating with [Israel] in order to return those youths because they are human beings and we want to protect the lives of human beings,” said Abbas, who held a rare telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday.
 
High price

Israel wants to make clear to Hamas it will pay a high price for the abduction. Netanyahu was swift to praise the latest arrests, which brought the total number of those detained to 240.
 
“The operation tonight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including some who had been freed in exchange for the return of Gilad Shalit, is a component with an important message in a series of many actions,” he said in a statement.
 
Since the disappearance of Gil-Ad Shaer and U.S.-Israeli national Naftali Fraenkel, both aged 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, Israeli raids have spread from house-to-house searches in Hebron, a Hamas stronghold, to Palestinian towns and cities across the West Bank.
 
Lerner said the army had raided institutions that provide civilian support for Hamas, including the group's Al-Aqsa radio station. He said computers and documents were seized.
 
“It's a multi-dimensional operation, both overt and covert and indeed, it is going to strike a substantial blow to Hamas, its infrastructure, its institutions, its lifeline and everything that keeps it going,” he said.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid