By: Rachelle Benjamin
June 16, 2014
Three teenagers were kidnapped late Thursday evening around Gush Etzion, an Israeli neighborhood while hitchhiking. One of the teens left a message on their cellphone, just before the phone was taken, letting Israeli officals know they were being kidnapped.
The military announced Sunday, “that Israeli soldiers have now detained 150 or more Palestinians suspects as they search for the 3 teenagers. Those detained were Hamas leaders and operatives.”
“We are determined to bring them home and bring the perpetrators of their abduction to justice,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces.
“People have just dropped off the face of the earth and the three boys, who are our main concern, are the focus of our efforts,” Lerner told CNN. “Hamas are behind that, and we are doing everything we can to shake them up as soon as possible in order to bring the boys home.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Monday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and told him to “assist in returning the abducted youths and in apprehending the kidnappers,” according to Netanyahu’s office. Netanyahu has now blamed Hamas for the kidnapping.
“Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas — the same Hamas that Abu Mazen made a unity government with,” Netanyahu has stated Sunday.
Abu Mazen is another name for Abbas, whose government now includes Hamas, which controls Gaza. “The consequences of the partnership with Hamas must be understood: It is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region,” Netanyahu said.