Three missing teenagers kidnapped by terrorists: Israel

'Missing teens kidnapped by terrorists'
Jerusalem, June 15: The three Israeli teens who have been missing since Thursday evening were kidnapped in the West Bank territories by a terrorist organisation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday.

"In light of the situation I cannot say everything, but I can say the following: our boys were kidnapped by a terrorist organisation. There is no doubt about that," Netanyahu told reporters on Saturday, shortly after a security meeting with Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon at the Israeli army's Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv, Xinhus reported.

"We are in the midst of a widespread operation to locate and bring back the three young yeshiva students," Netanyahu said regarding the disappearance of 19-year-old Elad Yifrach and Gil-Ad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, both 16. They went missing Thursday evening in the vicinity of Hebron while reportedly hitchhiking.

Netanyahu said he had ordered security forces to use all means to find them and to prevent their transfer to Gaza or another place, while also preparing all Israeli forces for any possible scenario.

He also said that Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible and demanded its full cooperation in attempts to retrieve the missing Israelis.

The prime minister then took aim at the Palestinian unity government, ruling out any possibility for Israel to talk about peace with a government that involves Hamas.

A massive manhunt has been underway for the past 48 hours, as security forces, including more than 2,000 military troops, have been searching for clues to the three's whereabouts. The current assessment is that they are alive and in the West Bank.


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