"We are committed to resolving the kidnapping and debilitating Hamas' terrorist capacities, its infrastructure and its recruitment institutions, he said."
Jerusalem, June 17 - Israeli security forces arrested 41 Hamas operatives in raids carried out in the West Bank Tuesday to trace three Israeli teenagers abducted by militants last week.

The Israeli military said that most of the arrests were made in the vicinity of the Palestinian city of Nablus, Xinhua reported.

Nearly 1,000 infantry troops entered the Balata refugee camp and the nearby town of Awarta, where weapons and explosives were also discovered and confiscated, Army Radio said.

The latest wave of arrests signalled that the military was expanding what it has dubbed Operation Brother's Keeper, which in recent days focused on the city of Hebron.

Military officials said the teenagers were abducted by a militant cell that operated there.

A military source said rescue efforts have been shifted to Nablus, which he described as the terror capital of the West Bank.

In Hebron and surrounding areas, forces overnight raided Hamas-affiliated institutions, seizing documents that could link them to terror activities and the abduction, it said.

Nearly 200 Palestinians have so far been arrested in connection with the abduction of the teens.

As long as our boys remain abducted, Hamas will feel pursued, paralyzed and threatened, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a senior military spokesman, said in a statement.

We are committed to resolving the kidnapping and debilitating Hamas' terrorist capacities, its infrastructure and its recruitment institutions, he said.

The teenagers were kidnapped June 12 from the West Bank.


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