Israeli forces raid Bethlehem and detain Palestinian lawmakers, Hamas leaders
Israel's army arrested over 500 Palestinians so far, in the search for three missing settlers (File/AFP)
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Israeli forces raided Bethlehem overnight, detaining Hamas members and Palestinian lawmakers, locals said Wednesday.
Witnesses told Ma'an Israeli forces arrested Khalid Tafish and Anwar Zaboun, Hamas-affiliated members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Israeli troops also detained Hamas leaders Ghassan Hirmas and Hasan al-Wirdyan after ransacking their homes, locals said.
Additionally, Palestinian security sources told Ma'an Israeli forces detained a youth from the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank early Wednesday.
Soldiers also raided and searched the house of a Palestinian security officer, Azzam Khalil Abu Hmeidan, the sources said.
An army spokeswoman told Ma'an 17 Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank overnight and that 13 were "Hamas operatives," including three from Bethlehem.
The arrests came as Israel continued a military campaign to find three missing teenagers and fracture Hamas' infrastructure in the West Bank.
Israeli forces have arrested over 500 Palestinians throughout the course of the campaign, according to figures from the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.
Soldiers have also killed five Palestinians and injured dozens in the operation.