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Israeli Troops Clash with Palestinians in Search for Teens

Israeli soldiers patrol during operation to locate three missing teenagers, in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 18, 2014.
Israeli troops have clashed with Palestinians during an overnight operation in the search for three Israeli teenagers who have been missing since being kidnapped last week.

Israel's army said Thursday Palestinians threw explosives and fired guns, leading Israeli forces to return fire.

The statement also said the soldiers arrested 30 people, bringing the number of Palestinians arrested since last Thursday to 280, with 200 of them being members of the militant group Hamas.

The three teens disappeared last week while hitchhiking home from school in the West Bank. Israel blames Hamas, but the group has denied responsibility.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday his forces were helping in the search, but Abbas also accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using the apparent kidnappings as an opportunity to crush the Palestinian people and wreak havoc. He said the Palestinians cannot endure a confrontation with Israel.

The president said the place to confront Israel is with arguments from behind international podiums, not with weapons.