BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police detained 16 suspects Sunday morning after raiding houses and seizing weapons in the majority Palestinian town of Kafr Kasem in central Israel, police said.
Detained suspects were taken to the Israeli Magistrates' court in al-Ramleh and their detention period was extended for interrogation, Israeli police spokesman, Luba al-Samari said.
The detentions aimed to enhance the level of security and safety among people in the area.
Israeli police said that they had collected information about a network of suspected smugglers based primarily in Kafr Kasem which trades weapons with groups in West Bank cities, especially nearby Qalqiliya and Nablus.
The head of the local police department said that the goal behind these operations is to decrease the trade of weapons and smuggling across Israeli borders.
Kafr Kasem is a majority Palestinian town that is inside Israel but sits directly adjacent to the Palestinian West Bank.
Although the majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 ethnic cleansing that led to the creation of the State of Israel, some Palestinians managed to remain in their villages and their descendants today make up around 20 percent of Israel's population.
The Israeli military has maintained a military occupation over the West Bank since 1967.