Israeli Forces Arrest Another 40 Palestinians in Search for Missing Teens

PHOTO: Israeli soldiers search for three missing teenagers during a military operation in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 17, 2014.
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The search for three missing Israeli teens entered its fifth day today with Israeli forces continuing to comb the West Bank for clues. Overnight, Israeli forces arrested more than 40 Palestinians, most in the city of Nablus, bringing the total to more than 200.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the families of 16-year-olds Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel and 19-year-old Eyal Yifrah on Monday, promising them that he'd bring the boys home.

Read More: Kidnapping of Teens in Israel to Have ‘Grave Consequences’

Read More: Missing Israeli Teenager Has Strong US Roots

PHOTO: Benjamin Netanyahu, center, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his office on July 1, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel in this file photo.
Abir Sultan/Getty Images
PHOTO: Benjamin Netanyahu, center, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his office on July 1, 2012 in Jerusalem, Israel in this file photo.

"There's a growing concern about their fate," Israel's Channel 10 military analyst Alon Ben-David told ABC News. "I don't see optimism among people responsible for the investigation."

"There's a continuous sense of progress, an accurate picture of what happened, where they are generally in terms of area," he said, adding that the kidnappers are believed to be Hamas operatives who didn't get orders from Hamas leadership, or report to them after the abduction.

Hamas has denied Netanyahu's accusations that the group is behind the boys' kidnapping.

The teens were taken near the Alon Shveut settlement in the West Bank late Thursday night as they stood by the side of the road, waiting for a ride. There were posters of support today at the spot where the teens were believed to have been taken, one reading: "Bring Back Our Boys."

"We ask that people continue praying and doing all the good works that they have been doing for the past few days," Frenkel's mother said today. "We just want to hug our children."

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