BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that he expected the Palestinian national unity of government to dissolve and the the Israeli government was moving closer to finding three Israeli youths missing for the last week.
The comments, which came during a press conference in the southern West Bank city of Hebron that has been besieged by Israeli forces since the kidnapping, signal renewed pressure on the Palestinian Authority to end a unity deal agreed on between Fatah and Hamas in late April.
"I expect (Palestinian) president (Mahmoud) Abbas to dissolve the union with this murderous terror organisation. I think that's important for our common future," he said.
Netanyahu also reasserted that Hamas kidnapped the three young men, even though the Israeli government has yet to provide any evidence of the accusation.
"They were kidnapped by Hamas, we had no doubt of that. It's absolutely certain," he said, adding that the public needed to have "patience" as the Israeli forces continued their search.
Over 300 Palestinians have been arrested and more than 800 houses searched in the last week as Israeli forces have carried out a wide-ranging search across the West Bank in pursuit of the the youths.
Israeli forces have also raided charities and all organizations related to Hamas in anyway in the West Bank, arresting former and current Palestinian members of parliament and many others in what some have begun to view as an excuse to round up Hamas members.