(Times of Israel / Worthy News)– IDF troops operating in the West Bank arrested some some 80 Palestinians, including senior members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, overnight Saturday, as security forces continued to search for information regarding the whereabouts of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped while hitchhiking south of Jerusalem on Thursday night, Palestinian sources were quoted as saying.
Among those arrested were former ministers and members of the Palestinian parliament, an Israel Radio reporter said, as well as Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement it had arrested 80 Palestinian suspects in the West Bank as part of its search for the three missing teens. — Source
One of the three teenage yeshiva students who went missing and were feared kidnapped in the West Bank Thursday overnight is a dual Israeli-American citizen, according to Israeli media.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, residents celebrated the presumed kidnappings, after Hamas slammed the Palestinian Authority for cooperating with Israel to find the youths.
"We are celebrating this formidable operation in Hebron," said Misbach Abed Rabbo, a spokesperson for the families of Palestinian security prisoners.
"We have always called for the kidnapping of soldiers. We view this as the only just solution for freeing our sons from the occupation's prisons," he told Hamas' local paper.
"Security coordination between (Prime Minister Rami) Hamdallah's and Abbas's security services and the enemy to locate the heroes of the Hebron operation and arrest them is a stigma," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
Last week, Hamas called on members of its armed wing in the West Bank to target Israeli soldiers and civilians in a bid to ease the plight of its prisoners in Israeli jails, a party spokesman said on Monday.