The IDF arrested 30 Hamas members in Judea and Samaria early Thursday as Operation Brother’s Keeper enters its seventh day in search of kidnapped Israeli teens Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach.
“Overnight, IDF forces searched approximately 100 locations and carried out approximately 10 operations against ‘Da’wa’ institutions – the civilian lifeline used by Hamas to recruit, disseminate information and enable cash flow,” the IDF said in a statement.
“During operational activity in Jenin, a violent riot erupted, during which Palestinians hurled IEDs and opened fire at the forces. The forces responded with live fire, identifying hits. In addition, an IED and rocks were hurled at forces exiting Nablus. The forces detained several rioters,” the statement continued.
Part of a large-scale effort to locate the missing boys, the IDF has arrested some 270 Palestinians, including several top ranking Hamas members, in sweeping operations across Judea and Samaria.
Israel has made clear that while searching for the boys, it aims to destroy Hamas’s delicately built, highly guarded terror infrastructure in the region. Nightly raids and surprise security sweeps are being conducted at the end of each day into the early hours of the next morning.
So far, some 80 Hamas terrorists released under a 2011 deal freeing captured soldier Gilad Shalit were re-arrested. MK Ayelet Shaked announced that the terrorists will remain in prison and must serve the remainder of their previously annulled sentences.
An IDF spokesman said on Wednesday that the army would work “at full force” until the abducted teens are returned safely to their homes. The spokesman made clear that Israel was ready and willing to increase its crackdown on Hamas.
US officials on Wednesday called on Israel and the Palestinians to “exercise restraint” against one another.
“We recognize this is an incredibly sensitive and difficult circumstance on the ground, and we feel all sides should exercise restraint,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
On Wednesday, the Israeli Air Force carried out coordinated airstrikes against strategic Hamas terror sites after terrorists in the Strip after rockets landed in Israel, one hitting a home.