Hamas leaders and members of the Palestinian unity government were among those arrested overnight in search of three boys kidnapped Thursday evening.
The IDF is continuing its extensive search to locate the three Israeli teenagers abducted by Hamas terrorists last Thursday. Some 40 terrorists were arrested in overnight raids, including former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Duwaik, 66, who was siezed in his home in Hebron.
Duweik is next in line to replace PA President Mahmoud Abbas as acting president of the Palestinian Unity Government (PUG) in case of an emergency. After the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Duwaik was arrested and spent three years in Israeli prison. He was arrested again at least once after his release.
In total, some 150 Arab terrorists were arrested since the beginning of Operation “Bring Back our Boys” to find the missing teens.
In an operation in Hebron that has been crowned as a substantial breakthrough, an elite police unit surrounded a home with the intent of arresting the inhabitants. A gun fight broke out, during which the security forces used a special mini-projectile to breach the door. Two high-level Hamas terrorists were arrested at the conclusion of the battle.
Exile of Hamas Leaders Considered
Further military operations were conducted in Ramallah and Shechem. Arab sources reported that an Arab was killed by IDF fire during the searches, apparently after attacking the force.
Ynet reports that the cabinet is set to meet Monday to discuss the possibility of exiling several Hamas leaders from Judea and Samaria to the Gaza Strip. A senior government official said Monday morning that “this option is being examined by the Attorney General. We want to deport a few officials to Gaza.”
“We are looking ahead at increasing the activity against Hamas, with an emphasis on the Hebron area, but this activity originates in northern Samaria. The closure in the southern Judea area continues,” a senior military official said. Among other things, Israel plans to shut down various institutions linked to Hamas and to prevent the transfer of funds.
Security forces are expected to exert further pressure on the terrorist infrastructure throughout Judea and Samaria, with the primary objective of locating the boys, while eradicating the existing network, thus preventing a recurrence of such devastating terror attacks.
Netanyahu: ‘Consequences of Partnership with Hamas Must be Understood’
“I expect you to assist in returning the abducted youths and in apprehending the kidnappers,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. “The Hamas kidnappers came from territory under Palestinian Authority control and returned to territory under Palestinian Authority control. This incident exposes the true face of the terrorism that we are fighting against. Terrorists abduct innocent Israeli children while we save the lives of ill Palestinian children in our hospitals. This is the difference between our humanitarian policy and the murderous terrorism that is attacking us.”
“The consequences of the partnership with Hamas must be understood; it is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region,” Netanyahu stated.
“We have one goal – to find the three boys and bring them home,” IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz stated. “We’re going to hit Hamas hard and continue forward.”
Author: Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency