A group of five Palestinians arrested in the West Bank on Thursday was arrested by Israel’s Shin Bet security agency for spying on the Israeli government, Israeli media reported.
The arrest of the five members was announced by the Shin Bet on Thursday afternoon, the Times of Israel reported.
They were members of a local police force in the Hebron Hills district.
The arrests came after the release of a video purportedly showing the alleged spying, the Israeli media said.
The video was released by the Palestinian group Maan news agency and shows a group of Israeli policemen and soldiers interrogating a man who was captured by Israeli forces after they stormed the house of his cousin.
The suspect, identified only as Mohammed, was arrested after he was taken into custody, the Palestinian news agency said.
A police spokesman told Al Jazeera that the five were released “because of the security situation in the area”.
The Shin Bet said in a statement on Thursday that the arrest was related to an intelligence operation.
The Shin Awasat intelligence unit, which oversees the Shin Beths police force, said it was “aware of reports of the arrest” and the unit had taken all necessary measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.
“The arrests of members of this security unit are extremely serious and we are taking all measures to ensure the security of the residents and the population in Hebron,” it said.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli cities and military targets in recent months.
The operation has seen tens of thousands of Palestinians displaced by fighting, with many of them forced to return to areas under Israeli control.