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Palestinian leadership pays price of Israel hunt for teens

Israeli soldiers patrol a street in the West Bank village of Beit Furik, southeast of Nablus, early on June 20, 2014, as they take part in a search for three teenagers believed kidnapped by HamasA massive Israeli search and arrest operation in the occupied West Bank launched after the suspected abduction of three teenagers is sapping support for the Palestinian leadership, analysts say. Israel blames Islamist movement Hamas for the kidnappings and has detained most of its West Bank leaders in its crackdown but a mounting backlash in Palestinian public opinion is undermining the authority of president Mahmud Abbas. On Sunday night, angry youths torched a police station in the city, displaying growing anger at the search operation for the missing teenagers which has seen the army round up nearly 270 members of Hamas and lock down major city Hebron and other towns. It has been Israel’s largest operation in the West Bank since the end of the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in 2005.

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