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Israel arrests 29 Hamas members in West Bank

AFP , Wednesday 15 Apr 2015
File Photo: Israeli soldiers patrol after a stabbing attack by a Palestinian man near the village of Sinjil, between the cities of Ramallah and Nablus, Wednesday, April 8, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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Israeli security forces arrested 29 Hamas members 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 mobile phones, 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 soldiers, 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 statement said.

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

Since the kidnapping and subsequent murders of three Israeli settlers in the occupied southern West Bank last June, there has been a rise in the number of Hamas members 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.

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

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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