Israeli forces are searching for three missing teenagers who may have been kidnapped by terrorists.
Israeli soldiers and border police are searching for three missing teenagers; it is feared that they were kidnapped by terrorists.
They were last seen late Thursday night in the area of Gush Etzion (the Etzion Bloc) in Judea and Samaria. Forces are conducting a widespread operation in order to locate them.
IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz said the current mission is to bring the three Israeli teenagers home safely and as soon as possible. “We are concentrating all of our intelligence efforts on trying to track down the missing individuals,” he said.
According to an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, “Israel sees the Palestinian Authority as responsible for the well-being of the kidnapped.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference Friday afternoon at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. Also present were Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharanovich, Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
“I know you are suffering,” Netanyahu told the families. “Be strong, the State of Israel will make every effort for your sons, and I promise to remain in contact with you.”
Shin Bet, the Israeli Security Agency, had been warning of terrorist attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians in order to negotiate the release of Palestinian prisoners.
The boys – two 16-year-olds and the other 19 – are students at Mekor Chaim Yeshiva High School in Kfar Etzion, a community in the Bloc. One is reportedly an American citizen.