News / Middle East

Israel Expands West Bank Search for Kidnapped Teens

  • Israeli soldiers patrol during a search for three missing Israeli teenagers in the village of Taffouh near the West Bank city of Hebron, June 18, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers search for three missing Israeli teens believed to have been abducted in the West Bank city of Jenin, June 19, 2014.
  • Members of the Palestinian Civil Defense hose down a shop that caught on fire due to clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Jenin, June 19, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers walk during an operation in the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus, June 17, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers search a Palestinian youth during an operation to locate three Israeli teens in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 16, 2014.
  • A Palestinian woman argues with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 15, 2014.
  • A Palestinian family looks at Israeli soldiers during a military operation searching for three missing teenagers, near the West Bank city of Hebron, June 15, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers take positions during a military operation searching for three missing teenagers, near the West Bank city of Hebron, June 15, 2014.
  • An Israeli soldier searches a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near the West Bank City of Hebron, June 15, 2014.
  • An Israeli drone flies over the West Bank city of Hebron, June 14, 2014.
Robert Berger
Israel is expanding the search for three Jewish teenagers said to be abducted by Palestinian militants in the West Bank.  

Israeli forces, including paratroopers and elite anti-terror units, are conducting house-to-house searches in the West Bank for three kidnapped teenagers.  The three are seminary students from Jewish settlements who disappeared while hitchhiking last Thursday near the biblical town of Hebron.

 
HebronHebron
x
Hebron
Hebron
Most of the searches have focused on Hebron and nearby villages, but they were expanded north Monday to the area of Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority.  Israeli troops have arrested more than 150 Palestinians in the raids, most of them from the Islamic militant group Hamas.

“These teenagers were kidnapped and the kidnapping was carried out by Hamas members.  We know that for a fact,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He did not offer any proof, but said it is Hamas' style.

 
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2014.Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2014.
x
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2014.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2014.
​“Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, including children,” he said.

Hamas has praised the kidnapping, but it has not taken responsibility.

“Netanyahu's comments are stupid,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, adding that Israel is looking for an excuse to crack down on Palestinian resistance.

Nevertheless, Hamas has been calling for kidnappings to win another release of Palestinian prisoners.  In 2011, Israel traded 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for captive soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held for more than five years by Hamas in Gaza.

The latest kidnapping comes just two weeks after Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank formed a unity government, ending a seven-year rift.  Israel bitterly criticized the move, saying it would not deal with a “terrorist government” backed by Hamas.

But Israel has continued to quietly cooperate with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.  

Netanyahu spoke with Abbas on the phone and said Israel expected him to help find the kidnapped teenagers.  The Palestinian leader condemned the kidnapping, and Israel says his forces are helping in the search.

You May Like

Somalia: No Popular Elections in 2016

In interview Wednesday with VOA, President Mohamud says 'one person, one vote' elections will not be possible due to continuing insecurity More

Scientists Predict Climate Change Will Increase Child Malnutrition

Public health expert in Germany says that by 2050, 25 million more children's lives will be put at risk because of lack of nutrients tied to climate change More

Erdogan in China Amid Tensions on Uighurs, Missile System

Turkey's president has criticized China's heavy-handed policies toward Uighurs in violence-plagued Xinjiang region, where China says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Carlos from: Gomez-Mota
June 16, 2014 3:42 PM
I think these boys are hidden in a tunnel prepared in advance or previously.

by: Kevin from: Canada
June 16, 2014 12:34 PM
And what were the 150 arrests for? Do all of these arrestees know something of the kidanppings? Not to mention the death of Palestinians everyday it seems at the hands of Israel...

I don't condone the kidnappings, far from it, but the rhetoric coming from Israel is sickening. Almost makes one think that Israel staged the kidnappings for to divert attention away from the settlements, Human Rights Issues and divestment discussion.

by: Richard from: USA
June 16, 2014 11:42 AM
I pray that the teens will soon be found and be safe and well.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs