Israel arrests 20 of Hamas armed wing

2013-01-31 20:24
A Palestinian boy holds a rifle-shaped wooden stick during a graduation ceremony for the first group of school children's military training organized by Hamas education ministry in Gaza City. (Adel Hana, AP)

A Palestinian boy holds a rifle-shaped wooden stick during a graduation ceremony for the first group of school children's military training organized by Hamas education ministry in Gaza City. (Adel Hana, AP)

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Jerusalem - Israel's Shin Bet domestic security service and army announced on Thursday the arrest of about 20 members of Hamas' armed wing in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The Shin Bet and army arrested "approximately 20 terrorists affiliated with the Hamas who were planning a kidnapping attack in order to bargain for the release of prisoners", a joint statement read.

It said they were arrested over the past few months.

"A variety of ammunition was discovered, including more than 10 different kinds of weapons," the statement said.

According to the Shin Bet, the group "represented a Hamas attempt to establish a local Hamas headquarters in Hebron".

"The terrorists were indicted with the charge of weapon possession, contacting a hostile organisation and conspiracy to kidnap an IDF soldier," the statement read.

Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, and home to some 190 000 Palestinian residents.

But around 600 Israeli hard-core settlers also live in the heart of Hebron protected by a large military presence.

Read more on:    hamas  |  israel  |  west bank
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