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Israeli soldiers search for three missing teenagers during a military operation in the West Bank city of Hebron, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Israeli security forces searched the West Bank, looking for three missing teenagers, including an American, who they fear have been abducted by Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli army has re-arrested 51 former Palestinian prisoners as part of a furious search for three missing Israeli teens believed to have been abducted in the West Bank.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said on Wednesday that the 51 were among more than 65 Palestinians detained overnight in the search for the teens.
The 51 were part of a group of 1,027 Palestinians released in 2011 from Israeli prisons in exchange for an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006.
Israel believes Hamas was behind the abduction of the teens, who disappeared last week on the way home from a religious seminary.
Palestinian woman cleans up her home after an Israeli troops raid in Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus,Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Israel's army says it has arrested 40 more Palestinians in the West Bank, expanding searches for three missing Israeli teens who Israel believes Hamas kidnapped last week. The arrests early Tuesday brought the total number of Palestinians detained since the kidnapping to over 200, most of them Hamas activists(AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh) (Nasser Ishtayeh/AP)
Lerner says that since the disappearance, a total of 240 Palestinians have been arrested in the West Bank.
The mothers of the three missing Israeli teenagers, from left to right, Rachel Frenkel, mother of Naftali Frenkel, Iris Yifrah, mother of Eyal Yifrah and Bat Galim Shaar, mother of Gilad Shaar, embrace in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Nof Ayalon, where Frenkel family live, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. Israeli security forces searched the West Bank looking for three missing Israeli teenagers who they fear have been abducted by Palestinian militants. (AP Photo/Tomer Appelbaum) ISRAEL OUT (Tomer Appelbaum/AP)