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Tuesday 23 September 2014

West Bank clash in teenagers search

Published 19/06/2014 | 07:27

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Israeli troops are searching for three missing Israeli teenagers feared to have been abducted by Palestinian militants (AP)

Israeli soldiers have clashed with Palestinians during an arrest raid in the search for three missing teenagers believed to have been abducted in the West Bank, the military said.

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Palestinians in the town of Jenin and an adjacent refugee camp threw home-made explosives and stones at soldiers who then opened fire, according to a military spokesman.

It was the most violent confrontation since thousands of Israeli soldiers first fanned out across the West Bank in search of the teenagers, who disappeared last Thursday night while hitch-hiking home near the city of Hebron.

Israel has blamed the Islamic militant group Hamas for the abduction, but has not provided evidence.

Troops have rounded up about 280 Palestinians so far, most of them from Hamas, including 30 more overnight.

Hamas has praised the kidnapping of the teenagers - Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship - but has not claimed responsibility for their abduction.

More than 200 Palestinians took to the streets when the soldiers entered the area. Some threw improvised explosives, fire bombs and rock at the soldiers.

Nadir Irshaid, director of Jenin hospital, said seven people were being treated for light injuries caused by rubber bullets and beatings.

Jenin residents said three Palestinians were arrested, including two members of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

There has been no sign of the missing teenagers or any ransom or other demands from their purported kidnappers.

Press Association

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