On Thursday, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped south of Jerusalem in the West Bank, possibly to be used as hostages in exchange for Palestinian terrorists.
It is believed the victims are Yeshiva (Jewish study) students. One of the kidnapped teenagers is an American citizen.
It is likely that the Palestinian Authority has allowed a Hamas cell to operate in the West Bank. Some experts suggest that Fatah is behind this. So far, no one has taken responsibility for this kidnapping.
A massive Israel Defense Forces manhunt is underway. “The main mission is to ensure their return,” said an IDF spokesperson.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he holds the newly formed Palestinian government responsible for the teens’ safety.
Later Friday, Iranian-funded Islamic Jihad leaders called for the further kidnapping of innocent Israelis. “Our war against the enemy is raging. We must find the ways and means to release our prisoners; we must devise a clear plan to free them,” said the spokesman.
In a separate announcement, “Hamas called on Palestinians Friday to declare an intifada throughout the West Bank and to confront Israeli ‘forces of Occupation,'” Haaretz reported, “be it through a popular uprising or individual action.”
History is rife with examples of Palestinian Arabs kidnapping and murdering Jews and Israelis.
In 1972, “Black September,” Fatah kidnapped and murdered eleven Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich. In 1976, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells hijacked an Air France plane flying Israelis to Uganda. IDF soldiers rescued the hostages in a stunning commando operation which cost Jonathan Netanyahu his life.
In the 1990s, Hezbollah began bombing Jewish sites and hundreds of Jews in Argentina. Palestinian terrorists bombed synagogues all over Europe. The body count of civilian Israelis remained high all through this decade.
In 2002, the Wall Street Journal‘s Daniel Pearl, a Jew, was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda. He was beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America.
In 2006, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas and held for more than five years. In 2011, Hamas returned Shalit only after Israel released 1,027 Palestinian terrorists, many with blood on their hands. Shalit was also the first Israeli soldier who was released alive in 26 years.
An IDF Spokesperson said that since 2013, over 64 kidnapping attempts have been foiled by Israeli forces.
Some argue the Shalit exchange incentivized the Palestinian terrorists to continue kidnapping Israelis, knowing they can attain massive value for just one Israeli citizen. Others say Israel has a deeper obligation, one that is both religious and patriotic, to redeem its hostages.