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IDF forces search Hebron Photo: Reuters
IDF forces search Hebron Photo: Reuters
 
Searches continue (Photo: AP) Photo: AP
Searches continue (Photo: AP) Photo: AP
 
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters 
 
Photo: AFP Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP Photo: AFP
 
IDF Chief Gantz with Paratroopers commander Toledano near Hebron (Photo: IDF)
IDF Chief Gantz with Paratroopers commander Toledano near Hebron (Photo: IDF) 
 
 

IDF: We'll exhaust Hebron area search in days

IDF arrest 37 Palestinian overnight as search operation for missing teens enter 11th day, source says military will have to shift focus after Hebron search fails to yield results.

Yoav Zitun
Published: 06.23.14, 15:05 / Israel News

"The IDF will have exhausted search operation in Hebron area within two or three days," a senior IDF official said as search efforts to find Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel continue.

 

According to the official, in the coming days IDF will decide where to shift the focus of Operation Brother's Keeper.

 

  

According to the IDF, the army detained 37 Palestinians overnight Sunday as the arrest campaign entered its 11th day, with no sign of three teenagers thought kidnapped by Hamas.

 

Searches continue (Photo: AP)
Searches continue (Photo: AP)

 

The PLO said in a statement that Israel had "tightened and sometimes closed checkpoints", disrupting travel, and had barred any entry or exit from Hebron in the past 10 days.

 

Since the youths disappeared from a hitchhiking stop in the southern West Bank on June 12, Israel has been rounding up hundreds of Palestinians in a bid to find them, while also dealing a crushing blow to the Islamist movement's West Bank network.

 

So far, four Palestinians have been killed in clashes sparked by the wave of arrests.

 

Photo: Reuters (צילום: רויטרס)
Photo: Reuters (צילום: רויטרס)

 

"Overnight, the forces detained 37 suspects and searched 80 locations, specifically in the area north west of Hebron, Beit Awwa (southwest of Hebron) and also in (the northern city of) Jenin," IDF a spokesperson said.

 

Forces also raided seven Hamas-affiliated institutions, as part of a larger attempt to dismantle Hamas' presence in the West Bank by targeting its charities and welfare organizations.

 

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

"Since the abduction 11 days ago, approximately 361 suspects been detained, 250 of them Hamas members, and 57 who were released during the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange," she said, referring to detainees freed as part of a 2011 swap deal for a soldier held by Hamas.

 

So far, there has been no claim of responsibility and no sign of the missing youngsters, although military spokesperson General Motti Almoz said on Sunday that all information indicated they "are alive."

 

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the abductions and defended his security forces' ongoing cooperation with their Israeli counterparts to try to locate the missing boys.

 

IDF Chief Gantz with Paratroopers commander Toledano near Hebron (Photo: IDF)
IDF Chief Gantz with Paratroopers commander Toledano near Hebron (Photo: IDF)

But Operation Brother's Keeper has created chaos in the West Bank where there is growing Palestinian frustration with their own security forces' cooperation with Israel.

 

Following hours of clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah early on Sunday, the crowd began hurling rocks at a Palestinian police station, smashing the windows of two police cars.

 

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Palestinians vs. PA

 

A number of Israeli human rights groups on Sunday wrote to Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon to denounce the crackdown which they branded "collective punishment" and a violation of basic rights.

 

AFP and Reuters contributed to this report

 

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