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China Daily Website

Israel: 55 terror suspects arrested in West Bank

Updated: 2012-11-22 16:57
( Xinhua)

JERUSALEM - The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the secret service Shin Bet arrested 55 terror suspects in an extensive operation in the West Bank overnight, the IDF said in a statement Thursday.

"In light of recent terrorist and violent activity in Judea and Samaria (biblical reference to West Bank) and as part of the security forces' attempt to restore calm to the area, the decision was made to carry out the arrests," the statement said.

"A total of 55 terror operatives who are affiliated with different terror groups have been detained. Among those arrested were a number of senior-level operatives," it added.

Among the detainees were top Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and memebers of Palestinian parliament, according to a list of the arrested contained in the statement.

Some belong to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Fatah.

"The IDF will continue to operate to maintain order in the area and to prevent the infiltration of terrorists into Israeli communities," the statement said.

The arrests were made one day after a bomb exploded onboard a bus in central Tel Aviv, Israel's largest city, leaving more than 20 people injured. Israeli police is still hunting for perpetrators of the bus bombing. On Tuesday, a security agent of the US embassy in Tel Aviv was wounded by a man with an axe.

These incidents took place as the conflict between Israeli troops and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip was raging on. The conflict ended Wednesday night with a ceasefire.