The Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens 16 Jun 2014
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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 Behind the Headlines: The Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teens

6/19/2014

  • Hamas, which kidnapped the three Israeli teenagers, is an extreme Islamist terrorist organization. 
  • Israel has a duty to defend its citizens and will continue to try to rescue the teens.
  • PA President Abbas should end the Fatah-Hamas pact, which allows the terrorist organization to expand its activities in the West Bank.
Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'er and Naftali Frenkel z"l
 
On Thursday night (12 June), three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank. Israel is engaged in an intensive operation to return Gilad Sha'er (16), Naftali Frenkel (16), who has dual Israeli-American citizenship, and Eyal Yifrah (19) to their families.

PM Netanyahu to Cabinet (22 June): "We have unequivocal proof that this is Hamas. We are sharing this proof and information to this effect with several countries. Soon this information will be made public."

PM Netanyahu (19 June):

"We're doing everything in our power to bring back our three kidnapped teenagers. They were kidnapped by Hamas. We had no doubt of that. It's absolutely certain. I expect President Abbas to dissolve the union with this murderous terrorist organization. I think that's important for our common future."

Hamas, which has a long history of terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, abducted the three teens. The organization is based on an extreme religious ideology and is as committed to jihad as its Islamist counterparts now carrying out terrorist atrocities in Kenya, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere. Hamas' "added value" is the antisemitism that is engrained in the core of its beliefs and its dedication to the destruction of Israel.

Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Hamas does not need any reason, excuse or incentive to murder and kidnap Israelis. Terrorist attacks are nothing less than Hamas' raison d'etre. Dozens of attempted kidnappings have been foiled in the last year alone.

It is Israel's legitimate right to defend itself against Hamas. Hamas, like its Islamist terrorist counterparts across the Middle East, threatens the stability of the region, and its actions should be condemned in the strongest terms.

The international community should continue to unequivocally condemn Hamas' kidnapping of innocent Israeli teenagers. Human rights activists and organizations, including those involved in protecting children, should also make their voices heard in condemnation of this attack on three young people.

Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the fate of the abducted teens: the kidnappers came from the territory under its control and returned there. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' recent statements should be judged according to the efforts made by the PA to return the teens to their families.

Those in the international community who said that President Abbas' pact with Hamas would advance peace can now witness the true results of this union. Today it is clear that Hamas has exploited the pact to strengthen its presence in the West Bank, which has led to an increase in terrorist activity.

The Fatah-Hamas pact opened the door to wider Hamas activity in the West Bank. The pact intensified the threat that Hamas will take control of the Palestinian Authority, just as it did in Gaza. Instead of abiding by his international obligation to disarm Hamas, President Abbas embraced Hamas, lending legitimization to terrorism.

The kidnapping validated Israel's assessment that the pact between Abbas and Hamas would strengthen Palestinian terrorist organizations, push peace further away and destabilize the area. Abbas must choose between peace with Israel and peace with the terrorist group Hamas.

It is time for the international community to recognize that the pact between Abbas and Hamas is bad for peace, bad for the Palestinians and bad for the region.
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