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article imageIsrael wants Palestinian Authority to help find missing teens

By Nathan Salant     Jun 14, 2014 in World
Hebron - Israel has asked the Palestinian Authority to help locate three teenagers believed abducted near a Jewish settlement near Hebron.
Jerusalem also said it was sending more troops to the West Bank to increase search efforts in the PA-administered area.
The three seminary students disappeared Thursday night after leaving a settlement and no trace of them has yet been found despite a house-to-house search, according to the Reuters news service.
At least 12 Hebron-area residents have been arrested since search operations began, including two women, security-camera video has been confiscated and hundreds of Palestinians prevented from leaving their homes, Reuters said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a televised speech saying the teens — two 16-year-olds and one 19-year-old — had "definitely" been kidnapped and accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of emboldening militants by reaching an agreement with archenemy Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip.
"The terrorists came from the Authority's territory, and the Authority is responsible," Netanyahu said, referring the Abbas' government's limited self-rule in the West Bank areas captured by Israel in 1967.
But nothing is simple in the MIddle East, not anymore.
Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior member of Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization, rejected Netanyahu's charge and accused Israel of planning war.
"This is obfuscation meant to prepare for a military offensive as part of his ongoing and declared war against the Palestinian people," Abu Yousself told Reuters.
The U.S. State Department said Friday that Abbas was "working closely together" with Israel, at the request of the United States, and Palestinian security officials said they were helping with the search.
Officials from the Hamas group condemned the cooperation, Reuters said.
More about Israel, Abbas, Palestinian authority, Teens, West bank
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