Palestinians have taken to the streets of Gaza City to celebrate the Hamas kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers on Thursday night south of Jerusalem. The abductions have galvanized Israelis as few events have in recent years, resulting in unprecedented manhunts throughout the West Bank in search of the missing high school boys.
As Israelis recoiled in horror at news of the abductions of three teenage boys by terrorists, Palestinians responded with celebration and joy, passing out candies and sweets and taking to the Internet to wallpaper Palestinian social media sites with celebratory messages and poses of solidarity with the kidnappers.
A Facebook campaign to support the terrorists for the kidnapping launched within hours of the abductions. Almost immediately, a trend among Palestinian Facebook users took hold to replace their profile pictures with poses of three fingers representing the three kidnapped Israeli youths. Slogans like “Hebron_Uprising” spread rapidly.
It wasn’t just Palestinian users of social media who have supported the kidnappings. Women and children took to the streets of Gaza City in several celebratory demonstrations, congratulating the kidnappers and urging more such acts.
Palestinians in Judea and Samaria were urged by leaders of terrorist groups to impede Israeli efforts to find their missing boys. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad both issued official statements calling upon Palestinians to kidnap more Israeli children so as to hold them hostage for ransoms of cash or convicted Palestinian terrorists now in Israeli jails.
The kidnappings initiated a massive IDF manhunt to find not just the boys but the terrorists who kidnapped them. As of Sunday night, Israeli forces reported having arrested at least 150 Palestinian suspects thought connected to the kidnappings. Forty suspects, including several unnamed Hamas operatives, were arrested late Sunday.