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Hamas to pay 'heavy price': Israeli defense minister

Thu 19, June 2014 Kategori World
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has vowed to get Palestinian group Hamas pay a "heavy price" for the alleged abduction of three Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

"Hamas in Judea and Samaria will pay a heavy price for the kidnapping," Yaalon said Tuesday night, using the Jewish name of the West Bank, The Times of Israel newspaper reported.

"We will get our hands on the kidnappers, and know how to get to the Hamas heads, any time, any place," he said.

The Israeli government accuses Hamas of abducting three Jewish settlers who went missing from the West Bank's Gush Etzion settlement last Thursday – a claim the Palestinian group categorically denies.

In recent days, Israeli forces have arrested scores of Palestinians – including several Hamas lawmakers – in connection with the settlers' disappearance.

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the alleged kidnapping.

"Our main effort is getting to the kidnappers and kidnapped, and we will not rest until we do," Yaalon said.

"We don't intend to compromise the security of Israeli citizens, and will act with determination, responsibly and judiciously," he said.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet vowed to ratchet up military pressure on Hamas and make conditions worse for Hamas-affiliated detainees languishing in Israeli prisons.

Some 5200 Palestinians – including 191 in so-called "administrative detention" – continue to languish in Israeli jails, according to estimates by the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

65 Palestinians arrested in Tuesday raids: Israel army

The Israeli army on Wednesday said its forces had arrested 65 Palestinians on Tuesday night as part of a broad crackdown in the West Bank against the backdrop of the recent disappearance of three young Jewish settlers.

Fifty-one of those arrested were Palestinians who had been released in in a 2011 prisoner swap in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Army said in a statement.

The Israeli government accuses Hamas of abducting three Jewish teenagers who went missing last Thursday from the Gush Etzion Jewish settlement near the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

"The IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] is working around the clock, on all fronts, to find Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frenkel – the three Israeli teenagers abducted last Thursday," read the army statement.

The army went on to say that, since search operations began, its forces had detained roughly 240 "suspects" and conducted searches of some 800 locations across the West Bank.

In recent days, Israeli forces have arrested scores of Palestinians – including several lawmakers affiliated with the Gaza-based Hamas movement – in connection with the settlers' disappearance.

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the alleged kidnapping thus far, nor has Israel produced any evidence of Palestinian involvement.

On Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet vowed to ratchet up military pressure on Hamas and make conditions worse for Hamas-affiliated detainees held in Israeli prisons.

Some 5200 Palestinians continue to languish in detention facilities throughout the self-proclaimed Jewish state, according to estimates by the Palestinian Prisoners' Society, a local NGO.

Israel closes Hamas TV station offices in W. Bank

Israeli troops on Wednesday raided the offices of a satellite television channel affiliated with Hamas in the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Hebron as part of a stepped-up crackdown on the Palestinian group.

"At dawn, around 10 Israeli soldiers stormed Al-Aqsa TV station and confiscated some of the equipment," a source with the channel, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency.

"The Israeli army also confiscated videos before sealing the doors and closing the station," the source added.

The Israeli government accuses Hamas of abducting three Jewish settlers who went missing from the Gush Etzion Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank last Thursday.

In recent days, Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians – including several Hamas lawmakers and former ministers – in connection with the settlers' disappearance.

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the alleged kidnapping.

On Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet vowed to ratchet up military pressure on Hamas and make conditions worse for its detainees in Israeli prisons.

Some 5200 Palestinians continue to languish in Israeli jails, according to estimates by the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

Crackdown should finish Hamas: Israel minister

Israeli Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said Wednesday that an ongoing Israeli crackdown on Hamas should lead to the elimination of the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance group.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Erdan said that Israeli security agencies did not know which Hamas-affiliated cell was responsible for the alleged kidnapping late last week of three young Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
The Israeli government accuses Hamas of abducting the trio, which went missing from the Gush Etzion Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank last Thursday.

Since then, Israeli forces have detained scores of Palestinians – including several Hamas lawmakers and former ministers – against the backdrop of the settlers' disappearance.

Erdan said Israel's internal Shin Bet intelligence agency, along with other security agencies, had arrested the Hamas members in hopes of obtaining information on the missing settlers' location.

On Tuesday, Israel's security cabinet vowed to ratchet up military pressure on Gaza-based Hamas and make conditions worse for its detainees in Israeli prisons.

No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the alleged kidnapping thus far, nor has Israel produced any evidence of Palestinian involvement.

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