الخميس , يونيو 11 2020

Israel expands search for teenagers

An Israeli soldier walks past Palestinians in the West Bank village of Tafoh, near Hebron - 15 June 2014Israeli soldiers conducted house-to-house searches in refugee camps as part of their operation

Israeli troops widened their search for three missing teenagers on Sunday night, triggering violent street clashes with Palestinians.

Reports from Ramallah say a 19-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at a refugee camp in the city.

The army has detained dozens of Palestinians throughout the West Bank as part of its attempts to find the missing Israeli teenagers.

Israel says Hamas kidnapped them but the group denies it was involved.

“Those who carried out the kidnapping of our youngsters are Hamas people,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called Mr Netanyahu’s statements “silly” and said the arrests were “aimed at breaking the will of the Hamas movement in the West Bank”.



Racheli Frankel

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Naftali Frankel’s mother Racheli says she is praying for her son’s return

The students, one of whom also holds a US passport, went missing on Thursday near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on their way back from lessons.

Israel says an “intensive operation” is under way to find the two 16-year-olds – Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar – and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrach.

Palestinian officials have said they are co-operating with the search.

As part of the operation, Israeli soldiers conducted house-to-house searches in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Ramallah on Sunday night.

Medical officials said Ahmad Arafat died after being shot in the chest during clashes that followed the searches.

They said it was unclear whether the Israelis had been trying to arrest the young man.

Palestinian security sources told the AFP news agency that he had been released from prison one week ago.

Israeli soldiers patrol an area in the West Bank town of Hebron - 15 June 2014Israeli soldiers arrested dozens of Palestinian over the weekend as part of their “intensive operation”

Men and women gather at the Western Wall in Jerusalem for mass prayers for the release of three Jewish teenagers - 15 June 2014Hundreds of men and women gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray for the teenagers

The kidnapping is seen as the biggest strain on relations between the two sides since a Palestinian unity government was announced earlier this year.

Mr Netanyahu called off peace talks with President Mahmoud Abbas in April, saying the Palestinian leader had to choose between peace and a pact with Hamas.

Early on Monday, the Israeli army confirmed it had conducted air strikes in Gaza that had “targeted a terror activity site and three weapon storage and manufacturing facilities.”

Doctors in Gaza said two Palestinians were injured in the strikes.

The strikes came hours after two rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel, both of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system.



Israeli soldiers

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Quentin Sommerville: “Israel is gripped by the story of the missing youths”

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