The Security Cabinet decided Wednesday evening to continue an ongoing operation to locate three abducted Israeli teens, a day after the cabinet voted to begin to scale back activities in the West Bank.
The forum also voted Wednesday to weigh a number of measures to counter the transfer of funds from the Palestinian Authority to Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
The move comes after the IDF arrested 17 Palestinians overnight on Tuesday as part of a crackdown in the West Bank, even as troops began to downscale their operations in the territory.
According to Israeli media reports, among those arrested overnight were two Palestinian lawmakers, Ibrahim Tayyub and Khaled Dweik. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified the Palestinian MPs as Khaled Tafesh and Anwar Zaboun.
The identities of those arrested could not be independently confirmed.
Israeli forces also found and confiscated weapons in a Palestinian refugee camp near Jenin, the Ynet news site reported.
Since Operation Brother’s Keeper began to locate three kidnapped teens nearly two weeks ago, the IDF has arrested almost 400 Palestinians in the West Bank, most of them members of the Hamas movement.
Despite 13 days of intensive searches, IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said Tuesday that the military had yet to have a breakthrough in locating Eyal Yfrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16, all abducted on June 12.
IDF chief Benny Gantz said concern was growing for the fate of the three as time passed. “With the passing of time, fears grow,” he said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.