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Hamas denies accusations that it kidnapped settler youths
Published Sunday 15/06/2014 (updated) 15/06/2014 23:22
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas on Sunday denied accusations that its members were behind the disappearance of three Israeli youth just minutes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused them of being responsible.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the accusations "stupid" and said that they were a bluff intended to acquire information.

Abu Zuhri told Ma'an that the arrests carried out by occupation forces in the West Bank were "designed to break Hamas," but they would not succeed in achieving their goal.

The spokesman also said that Israeli authorities are responsible for "all of the consequences of the arrest campaigns" in the West Bank, adding the Israeli escalation in the West Bank and Gaza reflects their "state of confusion."

The Hamas spokesperson's comments come in response to Netanyahu's declaration earlier Sunday that Hamas was responsible for the abduction of three settler youths on Thursday evening.

"Hamas men committed the kidnapping. There will be severe consequences," Israel news site Ynet reported on Sunday morning.

"This morning I can say what I was unable to say yesterday, before the extensive wave of arrests of Hamas members in Judea and Samaria," Netanyahu said later at a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.

"Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas -- the same Hamas that Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) made a unity government with; this has severe repercussions," he continued.

"We are currently focusing all of our efforts on bringing the abductees back home," he added.

The statements come after the Israeli military engaged in a major campaign of arrests on the third night of the search for the youths, who went missing while hitchhiking in the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion between Bethlehem and Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Thursday.

Israel also launched at least seven air strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight, injuring two Palestinian women in their homes.

Netanyahu previously said he held the Palestinian Authority responsible because the alleged kidnappers would have had to come from areas under PA control and returned to it, but a PA security forces spokesperson highlighted that the incident occurred in an area under full Israeli control.

The accusations come less than two weeks after Hamas and Fatah joined together to form a government of national unity for the first time in seven years, re-uniting the largest Palestinian political parties in both the West Bank and Gaza under the Palestinian Authority.

The move angered Israel, which considers Hamas a terrorist organization for its refusal to renounce violence in its fight against the occupation.

The Israeli teens disappeared in the 61 percent of the West Bank that is considered Area C and under full Israeli military and civilian control.

Only about 11 percent of the West Bank falls in Area C, which is theoretically under full Israeli control, while the rest is jointly administered.

Despite these distinctions, the entire region is under effective military occupation and the Israeli military has the last word on any decisions, with frequent nightly raids and attacks on areas under nominal Palestinian control.
1 ) Hetty / the Netherlands
15/06/2014 11:58
"a PA security forces spokesperson highlighted that the incident occurred in an area under full Israeli control" , "The Israeli teens disappeared in the 61 percent of the West Bank that is considered Area A and under full Israeli military and civilian control" So.. WHO is responsible? I don't trust this at all! Another false flag or what? Where is the proof again? Why now? But well hey: it reached our news, not the murdered Palestinian children.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
15/06/2014 12:07
2 of the 3 are from inside the green line. We can only assume the Maan is promoting PA policy that all Israelis are "settlers" and therefore subject to indiscriminate attacks by Palestinians.

3 ) JJ / NL
15/06/2014 12:27
Hm... Nobody mentioned yet the posssibility that an Israeli group staged a kidnapping, in order to make Palestinians look ugly and ignite an IDF razzia campaign.

4 ) Paul / Kenya
15/06/2014 13:16
Hamas praises the kidnapping, shows a video to help the kidnappers and therefore deserves all its gonna get.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
15/06/2014 14:12
Sure JJ, nobody mentioned yet the possibility that Dutch Islamists infiltrated the west bank and did the kidnapping as a practice for doing the same thing in Holland. It's a clear stage in the radical Islamic takeover of Holland in order to turn it into a caliphate and turn Dutch non-Muslims into slaves. Same logic.

6 ) FPM / USA
15/06/2014 14:27
Something is not right about this whole incident. It doesn't pass the smell test. The timing, the lack of international concern. I believe this is a staged incident to be used as another excuse for Netanyahu to indiscriminately kill Palestinians, to detain Palestinians, to close borders and make the Palestinians suffer as much as possible and to attempt to show the world how wrong it was that Hamas and Fatah joined forces. There's more to this story than we're being told.

7 ) FPM / USA
15/06/2014 14:49
Nothing makes sense about this alleged kidnapping. Why is Netanyahu dropping bombs on Gaza and all the while claiming there are 3 young men, un-accounted for and presumed kidnapped by Hamas. Netanyahu knows perfectly well where all three young men are and knows perfectly well they are in no danger. What a farce. I would not be dropping bombs on anyone, anywhere, if I truly did not know where 3 people are that I claim I'm trying to rescue.

8 ) Patrick O'Shaughnessy / Ireland
15/06/2014 15:27
Very coincidental that as a unity gov is formed, much to the chagrin of Bibi, a kidnapping occurs & Hamas gets blamed. Hamas is right to say this is stupid, however, as an act of goodwill, if I were Hamas I'd put it out that if any Palestinian group has the boys, they should make it known they are safe & well. Hamas has a lot of connections, so it should be easy to get that information. Call Bibi's bluff, stay united, truth will out in the end. If the boys are out there, a safe return is needed.

9 ) Zapatista / Mexico
15/06/2014 15:52
Is it so hard to believe that an Israeli kidnapped these teens. In America Americans kidnap other Americans. Same way in almost every other country. Deal with the fact that not all bad things in Israel are caused by Hamas

10 ) Rondo Mondo / Canada
15/06/2014 16:53
NO. 7 - Why is Israel dropping missiles on terrorist centers in Gaza? Israel was attacked by missiles from Gaza on Friday and Saturday. Approximately 150 rockets have been shot at Israel from Gaza this year. Israel has every right of self defense to hit terrorists and centers of their operations.

11 ) @ FPM-7 / USA too
15/06/2014 18:08
ISRAEL "bombs Gaza", since Gaza fires rockets, and it SHOULD bomb or BULLDOZE, since HEBRON abducts Israelis, until the three boys are released unharmed !!

12 ) Tibi / Tubas
15/06/2014 18:08
Hamas admits that it's "Top Priority is to abduct more Israelis", so as to bargain for the release of more prisoner terrorists in exchange, so -1- Hamas probably wishes that it could take credit for the abductions. -2- The PLO wishes it could publicly support the abductions, and -3- both could do more to force the boys to be released, if they want !!

13 ) Hetty / the Netherlands
15/06/2014 18:16
Hahaha, you are so funny @ Brian Cohen. The same fantasy as your lying "leader"

14 ) Joe / USA
15/06/2014 20:35
It is not in their best interest for the PA to be involved in a kidnapping, after all the trouble they went to unite their government. So no one was kidnap, only Israel has to blame the unity government to involve Hamas in their unity agreement. Will never see them again. Israel has them.

15 ) Maureen / Australia
15/06/2014 21:14
That's the way Zionists do war - by way of deceit!
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