Palestinian Authority unity government leader Mahmoud Abbas says his forces are searching for three Israeli teens kidnapped by terrorists last Thursday.
The teens – 19 year old Eyal Yifrach, 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar and 16 year old Naftali Frenkel (who is also an American citizen) – were hitchhiking on a road in Gush Etzion on their way home from the Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion when they were abducted. The yeshiva is located in Area C – a region that is administered and secured by the Israeli authorities under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.
According to a report by the WAFA news agency, Abbas told a gathering of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday that the terrorists who abducted the teens “want to destroy [us]” in what appeared to be a reference to the new PA unity government.
He did not offer details to the Muslim and Arab leaders who attended the gathering, which was held in Saudi Arabia, other than to vow that once the perpetrators were found, his government would “settle accounts with them.”
Israeli government sources said Wednesday morning they are making progress on tracking down the perpetrators; intelligence personnel have discovered which Hamas cell was responsible for the kidnapping last week.
To date, Israeli security forces have arrested some 250 Hamas terrorists who are living in various locations throughout Judea and Samaria. Included were at least who were arrested Tuesday night but who violated the terms of their early release from Israeli jails, which came as the result of a prisoner swap deal that freed former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
The former hostage was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorist groups in 2006. Shalit was held captive in Gaza for more than five years. The Israeli government eventually agreed to free more than a thousand Arab terrorists – including many murderers with Jewish blood on their hands – in exchange for his return.