US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday condemned the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, and said many indications pointed to the involvement of Hamas.
“We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement,” he said.
“As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.”
Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly accused Hamas of the kidnapping after Israeli troops arrested 80 Palestinians overnight.
The teenagers, students at Jewish seminaries in the West Bank, were believed to have been kidnapped Thursday night while hitchhiking in an area between Bethlehem and Hebron.
Their disappearance came 10 days after the establishment of a new Palestinian government of technocrats pieced together by Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas following a unity agreement between rival leaders in the West Bank and Gaza.