Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for abducting three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. He told the Cabinet: "Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas - the same Hamas that Abu Mazen made a unity government with; this has severe repercussions." Gilad Shaar, 16; Naftali Frenkel, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19, have been missing since late Thursday and were last seen in the Gush Etzion area.
The Kidnappers Came from the PA - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Netanyahu said: Hamas terrorists carried out Thursday's kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. We know that for a fact. Hamas denials do not change this fact.
President Abbas has chosen to make Hamas his partner. Israel holds the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas responsible for any attacks against Israel that emanate from Palestinian-controlled territory. When an attack takes place in Tel Aviv or in London or in New York, the question is not where the attack takes place. The question is where it originated.
The kidnappers in this case set out from territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, and the PA cannot absolve itself of its responsibility.
(Prime Minister's Office)
Israel Searches for Kidnapped Teens - Barbara Opall-Rome
Israel is beefing up forces in the West Bank in "Operation Return Our Sons," aimed at recovering three teens abducted while hitchhiking on June 12. IDF units were operating primarily in the area south of Hebron, where officials suspect Hamas operatives may be holding the captives. The operation marks the largest West Bank incursion since Israel's 2002 Defensive Shield campaign, Israeli sources say.
Nearly All West Bank Hamas Leadership in Israeli Custody
- Khaled Abu Toameh & Yaakov Lappin
In response to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Israeli security forces have arrested nearly all Hamas leaders in the West Bank.
Hamas to Palestinians: Erase Security Camera Footage - Daniel Siryoti
Hamas has called on all Palestinians with security cameras to erase all their footage in order to make gathering evidence more difficult.
Some residents in Gaza and Hebron celebrated the kidnapping, with vendors handing out sweets and coffee to passers-by and some dancing and singing in the streets.
Don't Blame the Victim - Sherri Mandell
Some blame the victim: the boys should not have been living there, they should not have been hitchhiking, they should not have been out at night. The truth is, we see that violence against Jews can happen anywhere: Kansas City, Brussels or Toulouse.
These boys are not to blame. It is the obligation of all good people to stand up right now and say that these boys are innocent victims of Palestinian hatred.
The writer is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation, which supports bereaved families in Israel, established after the murder of her 13-year-old son, Koby.
US has some responsibility for kidnapping - Gil Hoffman
MKs expressed disappointment that the Americans did not acknowledge their own role in causing the crisis. The MKs noted that American officials, led by Kerry, pressured Israel to free Palestinian prisoners as part of the recently suspended diplomatic process.
“They pushed for releasing more and more terrorists, and the kidnappings were the result,” said Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck. “But the Americans never take responsibility for anything. They prefer to just throw mud on Israel. They would never accept their children being kidnapped on the way home from school and their mothers worrying.”
Struck said MKs warned US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro of the consequences of prisoner releases during a recent closed-door meeting with the caucus. She said she also blamed her own government for caving into American pressure to release the terrorists.
Norway Cancels PA Donor Conference - Barak Ravid
The Norwegian government has cancelled a conference of Palestinian Authority donor countries slated to take place in Oslo next week, in the wake of the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers, Israeli and European diplomats have confirmed.
IDF Arrests 51 Prisoners Released in Shalit Deal - Yoav Zitun
[T]he IDF has arrested 240 Palestinians, including 51 Hamas members who were released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, as part of Operation Brother's Keeper, in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens.
Abbas: Kidnapped Youths "Must Be Returned" - Aron Donzis
A senior Palestinian official said that if it was proved that Hamas was behind the kidnappings, the PA would reevaluate the unity pact.
(Times of Israel)
There were those who wished to make concessions to Hamas. Now it placed a sign on itself saying, 'I'm terror.'"
"We are hurting the [Hamas] organizational infrastructure politically, financially, and in other ways." The Palestinian population understands the IDF's actions are aimed at Hamas and not at it, he said.
- Elhanan Miller
Popular support for the abduction of three Israeli teens has continued to proliferate on Palestinian social media as Palestinians posted photos of themselves making a three-fingered victory sign, sometimes writing the words "three Shalits" on their hands.
(Times of Israel)
The State Department Should Restrain Itself
-Moshe Phillips & Benyamin Korn
The State Department’s demand that Israel “exercise restraint” in its search for the Hamas kidnappers makes a mockery of President Obama’s pledge two years ago that he “will always have Israel’s back.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declared on June 20 that the Obama Administration is “urging all parties to exercise restraint and avoid steps that could destabilize the situation.” That phrase “all parties” was a thin veneer of even-handedness. Everyone knows the call for “restraint” was aimed at Israel. In fact, Psaki made her slant clear in her very next words, expressing “concern” that two Palestinian Arabs were shot dead by Israeli troops. Psaki did not exhibit any “concern” for the Israeli soldiers at whom those Arabs were throwing rocks and firebombs.