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Home >> World
UPDATED: 17:39, May 08, 2007
Israel launches crackdown on Hamas members in West Bank
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Israeli forces launched a tough crackdown on militants in the West Bank on Tuesday, arresting some 28 of them, including a spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

The total of Palestinians seized in the overnight raids were 28, some 15 of them are Hamas members caught in the W. Bank town of Tulkarem, Israel Radio reported.

Other detainees, arrested in Ramallah and Hebron, were activists who work for the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movement, according to the report.

Witnesses in Tulkarem said that more than 30 Israeli army vehicles and tens of heavily armed soldiers took part in the raids and stormed a number of houses.

Palestinian factions in Gaza have linked their commitment of calmness with the halt of the Israeli army operations in the West Bank.

On Tuesday morning after the Israeli overnight raids, the Islamic Jihad's military wing announced it had fired a home-made rocket into Sderot city in southern Israel.

"The shelling was to respond to the Israeli crimes against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," it said in a statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday criticized the makeshift rocket attacks against Israel, saying they were behind the collapse of last November's ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters that the Palestinian National Authority was ready to deploy forces along the borders with Israel to prevent rocket attacks. But he demanded Israel to abide by the ceasefire first.

Source: Xinhua

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