Israeli army finds three explosive belts hidden in washing machine

The army says Israeli forces have found three explosive belts stashed in a washing machine in a West Bank butcher shop.

The belts were ready for use and had 44 pounds of explosives, as well as nails and metal ball bearings to increase their deadliness. The army says the belts were found in a village not far from Jerusalem.

Israeli radio reports that the belts belonged to Hamas activists who were planning to carry out an attack in Jerusalem, but the army could not confirm the report.

The discovery follows a week of heightened violence. Israeli has launched a string of attacks on Hamas militants following twin Palestinian suicide bombings on Tuesday that killed 15 people.

Tensions increased further after Israel's security Cabinet announced it was ready to "remove" Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

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