Is­rael forces ar­rest 29 Ha­mas ac­tivists dur­ing sweep in West Bank: army

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces ar­rested 29 Ha­mas ac­tivists overnight dur­ing a ma­jor sweep in the north­ern West Bank, the army said on Wed­nes­day.

A Pales­tinian se­cu­rity source con­firmed that “around 30 peo­ple” had been de­tained in and around the north­ern city of Nablus, most of whom were Ha­mas mem­bers.

Among those ar­rested were uni­ver­sity stu­dents and a jour­nal­ist. Troops also con­fis­cated com­put­ers and cell­phones, the source said.

The Is­raeli army con­firmed ar­rest­ing 29 peo­ple, among them se­nior fig­ures within the move­ment and for­mer pris­on­ers de­tained for in­volve­ment in Ha­mas ac­tiv­ity, in a joint op­er­a­tion which in­volved sol- diers, po­lice, bor­der po­lice and the Shin Bet in­ter­nal se­cu­rity ser­vice.

“The ar­rests took place fol­low­ing an in­crease of Ha­mas ac­tiv­ity in the Nablus area with the aim of car­ry­ing out ter­ror ac­tiv­ity against Is­rael. The de­tainees that were in­volved in fund­ing and di­rec­tion of Ha­mas branches over­seas were sent to the Shin Bet for in­ter­ro­ga­tion,” a state- ment said.

The sweep raised to 49 the num­ber of Ha­mas ac­tivists ar­rested by Is­rael since April 1, the army said.

Since the kid­nap­ping and sub­se­quent mur­ders of three Is­raeli teenagers in the south­ern West Bank last June, there has been a rise in the num­ber of Ha­mas ac­tivists ar­rested by the army, with hun­dreds now be­hind bars.

Ha­mas, which is the de facto ruler in the Gaza Strip, has also faced a crack­down in the West Bank by the se­cu­rity forces of the Pales­tinian Author­ity, which is dom­i­nated by the ri­val Fatah move­ment.

In March, be­tween 40 and 60 Ha­mas ac­tivists were ar­rested by Pales­tinian se­cu­rity forces.

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