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Israel kills Palestinian teen in escalating West Bank arrest raids

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[June 20, 2014]  By Yusri al-Jamal
 
 HEBRON West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops killed a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank on Friday and arrested 25 people, pursuing a weeklong crackdown against Islamist militants and house-to-house searches for three Israeli teenagers who went missing eight days ago.

Palestinian medics said Mohammed Dudin, 15, was killed in the village of Dura, near the city of Hebron in the West Bank. The Israeli military said troops had fired live ammunition when rocks and firebombs were thrown at them during an arrest raid.

Israel said it arrested 25 people overnight in some 200 towns, refugee camps and cities in the West Bank, totalling 330 arrests including 240 from Hamas, the Islamist group Israel accuses of kidnapping three Israeli teenagers who went missing near a Jewish settlement on June 13.

Dudin was the second Palestinian killed since these raids began.

Palestinians threw a hand grenade wounding a soldier lightly elsewhere in the West Bank, the military said.
 


Some 1,150 sites in the territory have thus far been searched, the military said, in its mission to deal a blow to Hamas while in pursuit of Gil-Ad Shaer and U.S.-Israeli national Naftali Fraenkel, aged 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19.

Israel has also struck out at welfare organisations it accuses of aiding Hamas, a group that opposes Israel's existence. Soldiers raided 30 such institution on Thursday.

Reuters television footage showed soldiers loading files and computers from an office called "Islamic Charitable Society" in Hebron, onto a truck.

Israel also said it was shutting down activities of the British-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW).

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In the Gaza Strip, Israel carried out air strikes against three militant targets after rockets were fired at Israel.

There were no reported casualties in these attacks.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the kidnappings but has charged that the extent of Israel's raids amounted to collective punishment and urged they be condemned.

Hamas has not claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in Gaza on Thursday "regardless of who was responsible ... the Palestinian people have the right to use all forms of resistance in order to liberate land and people."

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta; Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Paul Tait)

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