Israel arrests 24 Hamas activists in West Bank

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military says soldiers and police have arrested 24 suspected Hamas operatives in the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya.

Tuesday's raid comes as Israel has faced a wave of Palestinian attacks, mainly stabbings, in the West Bank and east Jerusalem over the past two months.

The Israeli army says it uncovered a "vast Hamas network," funded and directed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Qatar. The army says an equivalent of $9,000 was seized.

Hamas, a militant Islamic movement that controls the Gaza Strip, has encouraged the latest attacks but hasn't claimed responsibility for them.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri says the arrests won't deter Palestinian attackers but "will boost our people's insistence to continue the Intifada and make the occupation pay the price of its crimes."