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Israeli Army Detains 21 Palestinians in West Bank
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Israeli army forces arrested 21 Palestinians in several actions in West Bank towns on Tuesday after breaking into houses, Palestinian security sources said, adding that a senior militant leader was among the detainees.

The sources said that a senior leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah Movement, was arrested in one of the operations in northern West Bank. The sources identified him as Mohammed Hanaishe.

Meanwhile, Israeli Radio reported that 13 of the detainees were belonging to Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), while five others were members of Fatah movement and two Islamic Jihad (Holy War) activists. The arrested were from Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallahand Hebron.

A wife of a Palestinian prisoner from Nablus city was also detained in the actions, according to the sources. Israel carries out daily arrestment campaigns and house-to-house search in West Bank cities, arresting a number of Palestinians in every raid. The Israeli operations in West Bank increase the number of prisoners held in Israel to more than 10,000.

Three Palestinian militant groups including Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement, snatched the Israeli soldier in a deadly cross-border raid on an Israeli army post on June 25.

The kidnappers conditioned returning of the captive soldier on the release of 1,000 Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, which was rejected by Israel.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2006)

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