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Today’s Top Stories
1. Search for kidnapped teens focuses on Hebron area.
The massive hunt for Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Shaar has moved to the hills around Hebron.
PM Netanyahu called PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time since the abduction took place, indicating that Israel expects cooperation from the PA in finding the boys.
Meanwhile, PLO leaders lashed out at Israel for arresting Hamas figures:
Palestinian government spokesman Ehab Bessaiso told reporters in Ramallah that the latest escalation in security measures was in the context of Israel’s “collective punishment” against the Palestinians.
He called on the international community to intervene and demand that Israel halt its latest measures, including the siege on Hebron and its refusal to allow families of prisoners held in Israel to visit their sons.
The PLO leadership condemned Israel for holding the PA responsible for the safety of the three Israeli youths who were kidnapped in the West Bank.
Abbas himself issued a statement condemning the kidnapping and Israel:
The statement says “the Palestinian leadership condemns the series of events … beginning with the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens and ending with a series of Israeli violations”
Hamas, for its part, expressed disgust at the idea of security cooperation with Israel:
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said yesterday that the PA’s security coordination with Israel in the search for the missing Israelis is a “disgrace.”
Hamas leaders have openly advocated kidnapping for political ends. It reportedly issued a Field Manual for Kidnapping, instructing recruits to become fluent in Hebrew among other things, and has taught not only its militants but also young boys at summer camps how to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
For more information about the media coverage of the kidnapping, see HonestReporting’s latest communiques – Sky News: It All Started When Israel Went Looking for its Boys, Three Teens Kidnapped, Professional Reporting Goes ‘Missing‘ and More Evidence of Anti-Israel Editorial Agenda at The Independent.
2. Abbas’s wife undergoes surgery in Tel Aviv.
While Israeli security forces were frantically searching for its kidnapped boys in the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas’s wife was undergoing surgery on her knee in Tel Aviv.
3. Arab Israeli teen related to radical MK Hanin Zoabi makes video calling on Palestinians to return kidnapped Israeli teens.
“To Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu), our prime minister and his government – wake up and stop cooperating with terrorists,” Mohammed says in the video. “The Palestinian Authority is the biggest terrorist. Two days ago, these Israeli kids were kidnapped. Tomorrow, it could be me, you or any other Israeli. Our enemies don’t separate between Arabs and Jews living in Israel.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Germany to study anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism at the request of Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Another study, conducted by the University of Bielefeld, found that over half of Germans polled agreed that “Israel behaves toward the Palestinians the way the Nazis behaved toward the Jews.”
• Almost as soon as news hit about the kidnapping, social media activists on Twitter began using the #bringbackoutboys hashtag. And soon after that, a discussion was launched about the merits of a joining a hashtag campaign.
Opinions varied from outright support:
From Fiji to Australia to Russia, responses came in from ordinary people all around the world, because everyone wants to see the kids back. Everyone wants to show that terrorism cannot take kids as a target.
To guarded skepticism:
Yes, a hashtag campaign may marginally increase awareness of the story. But is “calling attention” and “raising awareness” really the same as doing something? By papering the Internet with these hashtags, are Israelis and their supporters doing something to change the situation?
For more, see Yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.