Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Israel's stance on Sunday that Hamas is behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and said he will provide proof for it soon.
"We have unequivocal evidence that it is Hamas behind the kidnapping," Netanyahu said on Sunday during the weekly cabinet meeting, ten days after three Israeli teens disappeared in the West Bank, according to a statement from the prime minister's office.
"We are transferring the information to several countries in the world. Soon this information will be in the public's hands and then the words of Mahmoud Abbas will be tested regarding his willingness to break the partnership with Hamas, which kidnapped the teens and calls for the destruction of Israel," Netanyahu added.
During a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the three teens are "human beings like us and they should be returned to their families," adding that whoever kidnapped the teens "want to destroy us (the Palestinian Authority)." The Palestinian Authority security forces have helped Israeli counterparts in attempts to retrieve the missing boys and arrest their captivators.
Netanyahu said in response to Abbas' statements last week that he (Abbas) will be evaluated by actions and not words, specifically in dismantling the unity government established with Hamas recently. Palestinian Authority sources said recently it would be a blow to the unity government if Hamas is indeed behind the attack.
However, on Saturday Abbas said that as of now there is no evidence that Hamas is behind the kidnap attack. He also slammed Netanyahu for not denouncing the killing of two Palestinians during the operation.
Netanyahu talked about the killing of two Palestinian youths during the Israeli security forces manhunt throughout the West Bank on Sunday as well.
"The Israel Defense Forces has no intentions of harming any innocent Palestinians, but in the process of self-defense there are occasional victims," Netanyahu said, explaining that as the efforts to find the three and their kidnappers are ongoing, there will be inevitable friction with Palestinian civilians.
More than 400 Palestinians were arrested from the start of the week, some of whom affiliated with Hamas. The search for the three, last seen hitchhiking near Hebron in the West Bank, is currently focused on southern Hebron.