Mahmoud al-Aloul, a veteran member of the Fatah Central Committee who is closely associated with Mahmoud Abbas, said Tuesday night that the abduction of the three Israeli youths was nothing but an Israeli "play."

Al-Aloul, who previously served as Palestinian Authority governor of Nablus, wrote on the official Fatah Facebook page: "Let's think well of the growing possibility that all what's happening is a play that wasn't produced well and that no one was kidnapped in the first place."

Al-Aloul claimed that Israel's goal is to avoid "fulfilling its obligations, rid itself of its isolation, foil the [Hamas-Fatah] reconciliation and justify Israeli violations.

"Isn't this a possibility that is worthy of being considered?" the senior Fatah official asked. "The story regarding the three settlers is full of contradictions."

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