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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora