Israel arrests 51 former Palestinian prisoners

June 18, 2014

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli army has re-arrested 51 former Palestinian prisoners as part of a furious search for three missing Israeli teens believed to have been abducted in the West Bank.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said on Wednesday that the 51 were among more than 65 Palestinians detained overnight in the search for the teens. The 51 were part of a group of 1,027 Palestinians released in 2011 from Israeli prisons in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006.

Israel believes Hamas was behind the abduction of the teens, who disappeared last week on the way home from a religious seminary. Lerner says that since the disappearance, a total of 240 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank.

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