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Hamas warns of 'consequences' if Israel expels leaders to Gaza

June 16, 2014 3:57 A.M. (Updated: June 18, 2014 10:46 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas official on Monday warned of "consequences" if Israel expelled West Bank-based leaders of the Islamist movement to the Gaza Strip, as Israeli forces continued an extensive search for three missing youths.

"The scenario of expulsion has always failed in breaking the will and determination of Palestinians," Mushir al-Musri, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Ma'an.

"Detaining Aziz Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament, along with other parliamentarians, is stupid and will increase the weight of the coming consequences," al-Musri said.

He called on the Palestinian leadership to work to continue to advance West Bank-Gaza reconciliation even in the face of Israeli aggression.

Reconciliation "is the best answer to the Israeli mentality," al-Musri said.

Earlier, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli officials were considering expelling Hamas leaders in the West Bank to Gaza, amid a search for three missing teenagers.

Israeli forces have deployed heavily throughout the West Bank amid a search for three youths, aged 16-19, who went missing late Thursday from an area near the Gush Etzion settlement.

Israel blames Hamas for kidnapping the youths, though the Islamist movement denies involvement.

Soldiers have arrested over 150 Palestinians, killed one, and injured several others during the campaign to the find the missing teens.
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