Israeli government officials are holding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responsible for the fate of three yeshiva students who went missing in the West Bank on Friday.
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis said that Abbas “and the government of terrorism” – a reference to the new unity government that has the support of Hamas – is “directly responsible” for the well-being of the missing teens.
“This is the unavoidable result of the legitimacy that [Abbas] gave to a terrorist organization,” Akunis said. “The international community must recant the blessing it gave to this government and to remember that a terrorist is a terrorist even if they have a title of minister or government member.”
The Israeli political establishment responded with shock and anger on Friday to the possible kidnapping of three yeshiva students in the West Bank.
“I join the entire nation in praying for the safety and return of the three youths,” Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog said on Friday. “I wish to see them safe and sound. I would like to send my best wishes to the families, who are in the throes of terrible anxiety. As head of the opposition, I wish to offer my support to the government and the security forces, and we will assist in any way possible.”
Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev said that the newly formed Palestinian unity government involving Hamas “signifies a unity with terrorism.”
“This is a very serious incident,” he said. “I pray for the lives of the youths and for the success of our security forces to hunt down the kidnappers.”
“As the Sabbath approaches, we will pray for good news,” Yogev said.