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Hamas slams Palestine helping Israel locate missing teenagers
Sunday June 15, 2014 8:40 PM, IANS

The Islamic Hamas movement Sunday slammed the Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) decision to help Israel locate three missing teenagers who have been missing since late Thursday evening from the West Bank.

"It is a disgrace that the PNA is helping Israel to locate the missing Israelis. This must stop," Xinhua quoted Hamas spokesman Salah al-Bardawil as saying.

Al-Bardawil said a recently-signed reconciliation deal between the Hamas movement and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah does not prevent the movement from denouncing and rejecting the security coordination.

"We cannot give a legal cover to the security coordination with Israel since it harms the interests of the Palestinian people as well as the resistance factions," al-Bardawil said.

Earlier Saturday, Abbas ordered his security services to help find the missing religious high school students, who were kidnapped by a terrorist organisation when they were returning to their homes Thursday night near Hebron city.

The teenagers have been identified as Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday held Abbas responsible for the safety of the kidnapped teens, accusing Hamas of abducting the three youths.

The spokesperson rejected Netanyahu's accusations, describing his statements as an act of incitement.

However, the Hamas official did not confirm or deny that the kidnappers belong to Hamas, which is labelled as a terror group by Israel, the US and the European Community.

Israel also vows not to work with the newly-formed Palestinian unity government, a product of a recent reconciliation deal between Fatah and the Hamas movement.

Earlier Sunday, the Israeli army arrested about 80 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank as part of its extended efforts to find the three abducted Israeli teenagers.

Palestine termed the arrests as violation of international laws.

The 80 Palestinians, included top Hamas and Legislative Council members, were arrested in and around Hebron and across the West Bank in a joint military, police and Shin Bet operation.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military imposed closures on Palestinian cities in the West Bank, centred on the city of Hebron and its neighbours beginning at midnight on Sunday, and a closure of Bethlehem went into effect hours later.

The on-going search operation involves more than 2,000 military forces.


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