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Israeli army calls up reservists amid search for teens

June 15, 2014 5:13 P.M. (Updated: June 16, 2014 10:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel has started calling up reserve soldiers to deploy in the southern West Bank amid a search for three missing teens, an army spokesperson said Sunday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that the army was "in the process of recruiting a very limited number of reserve duty personnel," without elaborating.

The Israeli news site Ynet said that over 2,500 Israeli soldiers were stationed in the Hebron area, and that their presence would increase following the addition of reservists and battalions being called up from outside the West Bank.

Hundreds of soldiers of the Shimshon Battalion are being transferred from the occupied Golan Heights to the southern West Bank, Ynet reported.

It added that the Israeli army was expected impose closures on several Palestinian areas, especially villages near Hebron.

Israeli forces have erected checkpoints throughout Hebron and nearby villages following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers Thursday night.

A Ma'an reporter on the scene said on Sunday that Israeli forces closed Hebron's northern entrance with a steel gate and large concrete blocks preventing Palestinian pedestrians and vehicles from moving in and out.

Israeli troops also erected checkpoints at the main roads in the Nabi Younis and Hawawir neighborhoods north of Hebron, inspecting all Palestinians traveling in and out of Hebron.

Israeli forces have detained 43 people from Hebron area since the beginning of the crisis on Friday morning, according to the Hebron branch of the Palestinian Prisoner's society, and at least 113 from across the West Bank.
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