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Israel Arrests Most Wanted West Bank Hamas Leader

Israeli forces have arrested a leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, the most wanted man in the West Bank. He is being held on suspicion of helping to carry out a number of attacks that killed dozens of Israelis.

In a house-by-house search of the West Bank city of Jenin, Israeli troops seized Hamas leader Jamal Heijah.

He is wanted in connection with a series of suicide bombings, including attacks against two restaurants, one in Jerusalem last year and another in Haifa in March, that killed a total of 30 people. He is also linked to a bus bombing near Safit in the north of Israel, which killed nine people on August 4.

Both he and his deputy were arrested in the Jenin raid.

Seven Arab citizens of Israel have also been detained in connection with the bus attack. All seven are residents of an Arab village in the western Galilee.

Meanwhile, Israel army chief Moshe Ya'alon defined the Palestinian conflict as the greatest threat to Israel's existence. He says Israel is at war with the Palestinian Authority and militant Palestinian groups, which he says are determined to destroy the Jewish State in "stages".

Elsewhere, the Israeli Supreme Court met to consider a petition opposing the planned deportation of relatives of Palestinian suicide bombers from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.

Israel's army says such actions could help deter future terrorist attacks. The Palestinian families say the policy amounts to collective punishment and an abuse of human rights.