US: ‘Indications’ Hamas Kidnapped Teens; Israel Expects Abbas to Help

US standing with Israel. US Secretary of State Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of US State Department.

US standing with Israel. US Secretary of State Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of US State Department.

With three Israeli teenagers still missing after being kidnapped by Hamas last week, the United States condemned the incident and basically agreed with Israel’s assessment that Hamas is likely behind the attack. “We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement,” said US Secretary John Kerry in a statement released by the State Department on Sunday.

So far, since the US-backed Palestinian Fatah faction finalized a unity government deal with the Hamas terror group, Palestinian terrorists have been brazenly violent against Israel. The IDF has reported multiple rocket attacks over the last couple weeks, in addition to the kidnapping. In light of the unity government situation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas he is responsible for helping return the teens.

“I expect you to assist in returning the abducted youths and in apprehending the kidnappers,” Netanyahu told Abbas, according to an Israeli press release.

“The Hamas kidnappers came from territory under Palestinian Authority control and returned to territory under Palestinian Authority control. This incident exposes the true face of the terrorism that we are fighting against.”

Abbas, on Monday, offered his condemnation of the kidnapping days after it occurred. In a report on the Palestinian news agency WAFA, the Palestinian Presidency lumped the kidnapping together with complaints about Israeli activities. The unspecified actions by Israel likely hints at the arrest campaign of terrorists and their accomplices that are part of the Israeli efforts to rescue the teens. Such a comparison between a counterterrorism operation and kidnapping teenagers makes Abbas’ comments against the kidnapping sound watered down.

It also comes as Netanyahu pointed out the stark difference between the ways the Palestinian terrorists treat Israeli innocents and the actions of Israelis.

“Terrorists abduct innocent Israeli children while we save the lives of ill Palestinian children in our hospitals,” said Netanyahu. “This is the difference between our humanitarian policy and the murderous terrorism that is attacking us.”

Kerry, in his comments on the kidnapping, repeated who Hamas is. “As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past,” said Kerry.

Netanyahu, while asking for Abbas’ help, underscored how bad Abbas’ alliance with Hamas is for everyone. “The consequences of the partnership with Hamas must be understood; it is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 16, 2014)


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