IDF Vows to Weaken Hamas as It Hunts for Teens


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli troops arrested 30 members of Hamas overnight Thursday, bringing the total number of detainees to 280, as the search for the three abducted teens continues.

The three teens, Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19, were kidnapped last Thursday from a hitchhiking post in Gush Etzion as they made their way home to spend the Sabbath with their families.

In Nablus (biblical Shechem), Arab rioters opened fire on troops, pelting them with rocks and hurling explosive devices at them, the IDF Spokesman's Office said in a statement.

The IDF has promised to continue the search for the three missing youths as it simultaneously seeks to weaken Hamas, the Islamist faction that joined forces recently with the Palestine Liberation Organization's Fatah faction to create a unity government.

U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki called on Israelis and Palestinians to "exercise restraint."

"We recognize this is an incredibly sensitive and difficult circumstance on the ground and we feel all sides should exercise restraint," Psaki said.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon met with parents of the abductees, commending them for their strength during this difficult time.

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