In the aftermath of the presumed kidnapping of three teen in the West Bank on Thursday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Saturday that security forces are in the midst of a large-scale intelligence and operational effort.
Ya'alon said large numbers of units have been deployed to the Judea region, particularly around Hebron, and that arrests of suspects are ongoing.
"I hope that this effort brings us as close as possible to the missing, so that we can rescue them alive. As long as we don't know otherwise, our working assumption is that they are among the living," Ya'alon said.
"The prime minister, the head of the Shin Bet, the public security minister, and of course the whole military are in close contact [with one another]," Ya'alon added.
In 2014, there were 14 attempts by Palestinian terrorists to carry out kidnappings, and in 2013, there were 30 such attempts, the defense minister said. "It appears that this incident passed under the radar, but we will not rest until we release the teenagers and place our hand on the terrorists who are responsible for this," Ya'alon stated.